Cruising continues to make waves in Australia

Carnival Australia says it is heading for its biggest season yet, with a record 15 ships from its fleets sailing local waters over the coming months.

Between them, the ships will carry a total of 220,000 passengers – a 16 percent increase on the company’s previous milestone of 190,000 passengers, achieved last summer.

Highlights of the cruise season, which starts today, include the maiden visit of P&O Cruises’ Pacific Pearl on February 3 for her inaugural Australian deployment, and the first visit of Seabourn Sojourn – the world‘s newest boutique luxury ship.

Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle will see maiden visits by Cunard’s newest liner Queen Elizabeth, with a royal rendezvous with her big sister Queen Mary 2, planned in Sydney on February 22-23.

Carnival Australia, which represents six cruise lines, says the company’s summer flotilla will range in size from the 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn to the 2600-passenger Queen Mary 2.

Carnival Australia senior vice president, Jenny Lourey, said every State in Australia would reap the benefit of the company’s bumper cruise season with ships calling at ports ranging from Broome in the west to Cooktown in the north and Hobart in the south.