Sydneysiders aren’t being deterred by the summer coming to a close, with twice as many ships set to sail this off-season compared to last. Those in the industry say this represents a significant milestone in the return of cruise.

Port Authority of NSW CEO, Captain Philip Holliday said: “NSW claimed $3.3 billion out of Australia’s $5 billion a year cruise industry before the pandemic and it is bouncing back with visitation rates in NSW steadily approaching pre-pandemic figures – much faster than expected.

“With the summer cruise season set to close on 30 April, it will see a total of 286 cruise ships call into New South Wales ports, bringing approximately 600,000 passengers.

“Cruise has also really supported NSW’s regional communities too, with 34 ships visiting Eden alone bringing over 50,000 passengers and injecting over $13.7 million into the local economy.

“The traditional summer cruise season runs from October to April and with 66 cruise ships scheduled to sail into Sydney Harbour over winter the economic benefits will keep flowing to NSW.”

Homeporting in Sydney through the winter is P&O’s Pacific Adventure and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor.

Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia President Marguerite Fitzgerald said: “Our 2024 cruises are already selling out fast as more and more of our guests are choosing to sail away to better weather over the coming months.

“From the warm waters in our state-of-the-art pools and oasis-style decks, we are seeing a huge rush in bookings from every corner of Australia.”

Ms Fitzgerald advises to book as soon as possible to get in on the fun.

“With so many specials available online right now such as P&O’s Pacific Adventure, Pacific Encounter and Pacific Explorer ‘buy 2, get 2 free’ offer making it even easier to visit the Pacific or take a short break to discover the magic of Tangalooma; Carnival Splendor bringing the fun with Grinchmas in July celebrations; and Coral Princess taking off on her around the world odyssey – don’t miss out on enjoying the sun this winter.”

Sydney’s off-season will end with the arrival of Coral Princess on September 20, later this year, soon followed by Celebrity Solstice on October 19, Grand Princess on October 21 and Brilliance of the Seas on October 22. However, Pacific Adventure and Carnival Splendor will be around all through the off-season.

Cruise Passenger has already put together a list of all the best off-season cruises to take this year, with sailings ranging from South Pacific adventures to Great Barrier Reef explorations and even Kimberley expeditions.

For more information, click here