28 May 2020

Brisbane cruise terminal still set to open

Brisbane's new multimillion-dollar international cruise terminal will still open in October despite the industry being in lockdown because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The terminal is slated to accept its first ship, the Carnival-owned Pacific Dawn, at 6am on October 3 at Luggage Point.

A Port of Brisbane representative said it was too early to determine if the first cruise to depart from the port would need to be rescheduled.

"Given the fact that the government has introduced a temporary ban on cruising, as they have on international flights, with no indication as to when it will be lifted, it is too early to understand how this crisis will impact future seasons," the spokesperson said.

The cruise industry injected $5 billion into Australian tourism and provided 3.5 million passenger visit days in 2018-19, according to an Australian cruise industry economic assessment.

Despite being a major money-spinner for the tourism sector, Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said no one should be booking a cruise unless they had an "ironclad" insurance policy.

"Now is not a time to be making bookings ... if you have an ironclad insurance policy, should you still not be in a position to undertake that cruise, go your hardest, I guess, but I would tell people at present, they should be cautious about the decisions they make," Mr Birmingham told the ABC.

The new terminal will accommodate some of the biggest cruise ships in the world including Royal Caribbean International's 293m-long Radiance of the Seas.

Luggage Point is located some 20km north-east of Brisbane and adjacent to Brisbane Airport.

There are 13 departures scheduled for October alone.

Currently, ships too large to dock at Brisbane Cruise Terminal at Portside use a cargo facility at the Port of Brisbane at Fisherman Island.

Carnival Australia, which has agreed to pay a fixed annual amount to the port for 15 years in return for preferential berthing rights, was contacted for comment.

SOURCE: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-cruise-terminal-still-set-to-open-20200416-p54kh2.html

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