SYDNEY’S cruise infrastructure challenges are “emerging as others’ opportunities”, Carnival Australia’s executive chairman Ann Sherry has declared.
Sherry told Cruise Weekly that Carnival is increasingly basing ships in other cities such as Melbourne and Brisbane due to capacity constraints in Sydney.
She warned “we are nearing crunch point where we need to find a way to unblock the stalemate in Sydney Harbour & find a way of sharing the Garden Island facility between Navy & cruising for the benefit of Sydney”.
“This is the last big piece of the tourism puzzle now we have agreement on the second airport and have rebuilt the convention and exhibition centre in Sydney”.
The comments follow Royal Caribbean Int’l’s move last week to cut the number of local ships to three in 2018/19, down from five this season (CW 27 Apr).
On Fri the govt confirmed it is looking at how to make greater use of existing capacity, including the consideration of double turnarounds (or double stacking) in the OPT – a plan rejected by Carnival Aus and Royal Caribbean.
“In addition to losing cruise business to Melbourne and Brisbane, ‘double stacking’ risks making Sydney an unattractive port for local and int’l cruise pax,” a Carnival spokesperson told CW.
The early morning arrival would require passengers to be ready to leave the ships as early as 5:30am and the evening turnaround would cause guests to embark late into the night “with all passengers effectively losing the first night of their cruise.”
“Either way, pax will see ‘double stacking’ as an awful way to either start or finish a cruise holiday,” Carnival said.