The New South Wales government yesterday announced big plans for a new luxury multi-use cruise terminal to be built in Newcastle Harbour. This will be a huge upgrade from the current temporary facilities used by ships visiting the area, and an exciting time for cruise passengers and the local community both.
More than twelve million dollars has been set aside for the project, which will cover 3,000 square metres and be of a similar scale to the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Sydney. Not only does this allow much more scope for cruise passengers to visit the fabulous city of Newcastle and the surrounding Hunter Valley region, but gives Newcastle the capability to serve as a secondary NSW homeport, opening up the possibility of ships departing from or finishing their journeys in the city - great news for cruisers in the area!
Planning Minister Rob Stokes confirmed this: "The new terminal will not only attract new cruise ships to the annual cruise season but could also be used as a home port for cruises, which means for the first time passengers could start and end their journeys in Newcastle."
The project will also benefit Newcastle and its residents with an injection of tourist dollars, Mr Stokes added: "The project will also deliver new economic benefits to the region by enabling new conferences, exhibitions, visiting naval vessels and other uses. Construction of the building and associated flow-on economic activity in the regional economy is worth an estimated $26.7 million."
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell was enthusiastic about the announcement when speaking in Newcastle earlier. He commented, "This local investment in port infrastructure acknowledges the Hunter region's attractiveness as a cruise destination, with its ease of access to the surrounding wine growing district and other quality attractions. It also acknowledges cruise tourism's local economic contribution as the industry continues to record double-digit growth in passenger numbers in Australia with domestic itineraries and short break cruises among the big growth areas in this market."
So, New South Wales cruise lovers: watch this space! Cruising to and from Newcastle is about to become a lot more convenient, and we look forward to the completion of the new terminal - expected to be in 2018. In the meantime, there are plenty of other cruises from Australia on offer at Cruise Sale Finder!