Calls for Sydney’s third cruise terminal at Yarra Bay are back on the table after the issue was raised at this week’s Cruise 360 conference.
Steve Odell, the SVP and Managing Director Asia Pacific of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas said he had a conversation with Philip Holliday, the CEO of the Port Authority of New South Wales around capacity issues Sydney will face in the coming years.
“If you look at the Port Authority’s Sydney schedule, there are cruise bookings until the middle of 2025. There are 100 new cruise ship on order and some of them are going to be deployed here.
“Ships that provide the body to the market are bigger and don’t fit under the bridge. So that issue has to be back on the table soon. I’ve had a conversation with Phil Holliday from the Port Authority just to get his spin on it.
“When we left this subject at the end of my chair at the end of 2019, we were sort of at that financial analysis stage of Yarra Bay as a potential solution to that. And I think has to come back on the agenda.
But Mr Odell conceded there would be difficulties that would arise when discussions of Sydney’s third cruise terminal resumes. Residents who live around Port Botany petitioned heavily against the construction of a cruise terminal in their local area.
At the end of 2019, the Port Authority of New South Wales had started holding consultation and community information sessions to allow the residents to give their feedback.
The initial plan was that construction would start in 2023 after a range of factors were considered like a detailed business case, stakeholder consultation, community information sessions, lodgement of State Significant Infrastructure or State Significant Development application and Environmental Impact State and the design and procurement preparation for construction.
But Mr Holliday, told Cruise Passenger: “Yes, we have dusted off the business case we compiled before COVID.
“Some people have suggested that, with a new government, we might look again at Garden Island, but I don’t believe that is a real possibility. So that leaves Yarra Bay.
“We are starting to see capacity issues raised again now that ships are back – so I think it is something to consider, possibly for next season.”
Mr Odell said that if Sydney were to get the world’s premier ships, it would need more capacity.
“The end game is that we need more capacity in Sydney. You see companies like Virgin coming into the market in Melbourne and see what’s happening in Brisbane.
“There is no question given what the projections are that we have to get back on this conversation quickly here.”