Melbourne, Victoria is experiencing a boom in the variety of cruise liners going to the city, but what do passengers get up to when they get here?
Cruise companies state that the big drawcards are Melbourne’s architecture, landscaping and gardens, and cultural highlights, including its growing arts and food scenes, and significant sporting occasions such as the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open and the one that draws in the biggest crowd, the AFL Grand Final.
Melbourne Zoo, the Great Ocean Road, art galleries, the Yarra Valley wine and lunch cafe areas in inner Melbourne suburbs, and the penguin parade at Phillip Island are also very popular.
Cruise liners stopping in Victoria have more than doubled in the previous years from 38 in 2005-06 to 84 in 2015-16 according to the Australian Cruise Association. Cruise guests and team members going to the state amounted to 263,341 last financial year, which is a big boom for Victorian tourism.
Princess Cruises based Golden Princess in Melbourne for a series of 14 cruises, Pacific Jewel for 10 cruises and Pacific Eden undertook 8 turnarounds (cruises that begin or end at the port).
Regional Victoria locations also got eight cruises for the season, with Portland and Mornington each getting three and Cowes at Phillip Island and Geelong receiving one each.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia managing director Adam Armstrong said Melbourne was considered the cultural heart of Australia, known world-wide as the city of all day breakfast and brilliant barista made coffee.“Aside from the art galleries, shopping and incredible food scene, Melbourne is a city that serves up some striking contrasts — one minute you’re walking past elegant Victorian houses, the next you’ll find yourself in a hip graffitied laneway full of funky cafes and pop-up bars,” he stated.
Mr Armstrong said biking and walking tours of the city were very popular with people wishing to see our zoos, the landscaping design of the Botanic Gardens, the Great Ocean Roadway and 12 Apostles, and seeing wallabies and tasting wine in the Yarra Valley. He said while Melburnians took trams and the Yarra River for granted they were drawcards for tourists.
P&O representative Lyndsey Gordon stated Melbourne was well known for its huge sporting occasions with three of its ships checking out the city each year for the Melbourne Cup and in the next summer season, P&O would be sending two cruises to the Australian Open.
Waterfront Welcomers offer Russell Griffiths stated the increasing number of visitors he satisfied were coming for the fresh food and shopping, and the penguin parade was a must-see for them.
Mr Griffiths stated visitors’ experiences in Melbourne exceeded and even went beyond what visitors initially expected.
He mentioned that the cruising boom also offered a windfall for the local economy with coffee shops, restaurants and stores all benefiting from the boost in tourism. The Victorian Government have also been making efforts to increase tourism to both Melbourne and Regional Victoria, and it seems their marketing and campaigning has really paid off.
The economic contribution of the cruise market to Victoria for the 2014-15 season was approximated to be $160 million.