Pacific Eden leaves "home'
Published: 6th November 2017
She’s been a familiar sight over the past few months, but P&O cruise ship Pacific Eden will be leaving her seasonal home on Monday after her final turnaround at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal (CCLT).
The vessel, which has delivered and collected 15,000 passengers over her 11 visits to the Port Of Cairns, will head for new horizons after completing a hugely successful homeporting operation.
“This 2017 season has been remarkable at the CCLT,” Ports North Chairman Russell Beer said. “We have built on the success of last year’s inaugural season and just keep improving our services here. We have the fastest per capita turnaround time – during which passengers disembark, and on the same day, a fresh stream of holiday-makers board for the next cruise –of any port in the country.
“It’s a real testament to the innovative and professional operations team we have here at Ports North.”
Turning around ships is a major logistics exercise requiring the loading of thousands of kilograms of supplies and coordination of check-in staff, and baggage handlers as well as enforcing stringent security requirements for passengers and their luggage.
“One of the key factors in the Port’s efficient turnarounds are our streamlined logistics procedures which minimise vehicle interaction at the security checkpoints,” Mr Beer said.
He pointed out the layout of the terminal, and the Port generally, was another reason the homeporting season is thriving at Cairns.
“The ship can come straight up to the wharf, which is right next to the city, so there is quick access to the vessel for local business,” he said. “And then there is the passenger comfort. Many other ports can be quite a long way away from the shops, hotels, and tourism opportunities. Here they can walk off the ship and into the heart of our thriving city. We’ve had some terrific feedback from passengers. “
The Australian Cruise Association Annual report 2016-17 has found that the cruise industry’s total national economic contribution in Australia grew by 15.4% to reach a record A$5.3 billion.
Direct expenditures generated by cruise lines, passengers and crew totalled almost A$2.7 billion, an increase of 15% from 2015/16.
Cruise passengers spent almost A$1.2 billion in local ports, an increase of 20%.
“It is important to note that homeport passengers spent an estimated A$976 million to account for 85% of total passenger expenditures,” Mr Beer said. “The national spend has also risen by 19% with the average per visit spend A$527 a day, up from A$508 last year.”
“These are very promising figures and given last year’s homeporting in Cairns generated about $6 million for the region, we can certainly expect a good result when we add up the figures for this year’s season.”
Pacific Eden will arrive from the Solomon Islands on Monday, November 6, at 0700hrs, and will depart at 1600hrs bound for Sydney. She will return to Cairns between July and September 2018 for another homeporting season.