28 Dec 2015
Willem Westra van Holthe, Member for Katherine
Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Luxury boutique cruise ship, the Azamara Quest, has made its first port of call on its maiden Australian voyage, arriving in Darwin this morning from Indonesia.
The Azamara Quest and its 600 passengers and crew will spend all day in port before departing for Thursday Island at 10pm tonight.
Acting Tourism Minister Willem Westra van Holthe said Darwin was fast becoming one of Australia’s major cruise hubs with today’s visit one of a record breaking 46 cruise ship visits to the city in 2015-16.
“Today’s visit is very exciting for our cruise industry here in Darwin as it shows we are being increasingly recognised by international cruise liners as a must-visit destination,” he said.
“We are delighted Darwin will be the first taste of Australia for many of the passengers and we know they will have a memorable experience here in the Northern Territory.”
Mr Westra van Holthe said the Northern Territory’s cruise industry provided a vital boost for tourism in the Top End, injecting $54 million in the local economy last financial year.
“The 46 cruise ship visits this financial year will carry a passenger capacity of more than 70,000 – the largest Darwin has ever had,” he said.
“The cruise industry is extremely important to our overall NT tourism industry as it provides an influx of tourists into the region during the off-peak and shoulder seasons.
“According to figures released by the Australian Cruise Association in September, the average daily spend per passenger in Darwin was up to $288.
“We warmly welcome the cruise industry here to the Territory, with one of the centrepieces of our 2015-16 Budget the installation of a new shaded walkway that will allow cruise ship passengers to stroll from the terminal to the Waterfront Precinct in comfort. Work is expected to start on this project in early 2016.
“It’s all part of the Country Liberals Government’s plan to drive the development of Northern Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020.”
As part of its Australian voyage, the Azamara Quest will hold several special ‘AzAmazing Evenings’, which is a specially created night tour that offers a slice of the region’s culture and character for the cruise ship passengers.
In Darwin, passengers will spend the evening at Crocosaurus Cove experiencing Australia’s largest captive reptile collection, including nearly 200 crocodiles.
Media Contact: Casie Scott 0432 453 225