Get Cruise Ready

With the construction and completion of the Quayside Cruise Terminal and Berth 10 in 2013, coupled with the variety and diversity of shore excursions and activities available to passengers, Townsville North Queensland is an attractive cruise destination. 

Within five minutes of disembarking in Townsville, passengers can be discovering the revitalised Townsville CBD. In 10 minutes they can be hiking, biking and bird watching in Wetlands of international importance. In 30 minutes they can be in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or on a tropical island, and within 90 minutes they can be in the Australian Outback, a National Park or discovering a World Heritage listed rainforest.

Townsville Enterprise has identified the cruise market as one with significant potential to boost the region’s visitation and help reach the goal of doubling visitor expenditure by the year 2020.The cruise industry is the fastest growing travel sector in the world, recording strong growth globally. The cruise industry provides $3.2B to the Australian economy.

Cruising in Australia

The number of cruise ships operating in Australia has doubled over the last ten years from 23 to 45. These 45 ships represent 773 port visits and nearly two million passenger days in port, with an estimated expenditure of $767 million into the Australian economy. Australia is now ranked 5th as a global cruise destination with 3.6% global passenger share, leading to industry growth of 13.4% in 2013-14.

Queensland is the second largest Australian cruise shipping market in terms of activity and industry expenditure and Townsville has been identified as one of Queensland’s major cruise ship destinations.  The number of anchoring cruise ships in Townsville increased to seven in 2013-14 from four in 2012-2013 which resulted in 4,282 passenger days at port. Townsville recorded $3.8 million in total expenditure from the industry in 2013-14, this provided a stimulus for $1.0 million in wages and added $1.8 million to the regional economy. 

Cruise Ship Season

Australia’s cruise ship season runs from November to March, as ships sail to the Southern Hemisphere to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s winter.  Visiting ships provide an economic boost for Townsville North Queensland, during a typically slow time for tourism, spreading the economic benefit that tourists provide across the year. Cruise ships offer the opportunity to support local businesses, encourage investment, product development and sustained employment opportunities.

There are two ways to get involved:

>> Be a part of a pre-determined shore excursion through a 'ground handler'

Ground handlers, also known as Inbound Tour Operators (ITOs), are specialists who design suitable shore excursions by packaging a range of products from a particular cruise destination and on-sell these tours/activities to cruise lines for sale on board the ship prior to arrival at the destination.

  • TIP – Timing is Essential!  Make contact with a ground handler in October and follow up in March for the potential inclusion of your product in the following year’s season.

>> Provide an experience to passengers not pre-booked on a shore excursion

Not every cruise passenger goes on a shore excursion when visiting a destination. The majority, approximately 80%, do at some point along their journey, and of those, 75% participate in pre-arranged tours/activities, leaving a significant number of individuals who are Free Independent Travellers (FITs) who do their own exploring.

  • TIP – Quality Information!  FITs need quality information delivered on the day by volunteers at the cruise ship information desk. Be sure your product is being promoted to these passengers by supporting Townsville Enterprise.
Create an Attractive Shore Excursion

“Itinerary planners are looking for diversity of experience for their passengers. So if the vessel has called Cairns the day before and visited off-shore reefs they will be looking to create a different experience in Townsville.  …..whatever it is, it needs to be different to the day before.”

– Ground Handler

Every cruise itinerary and shore excursion program is scrutinised for its revenue potential by cruise lines and unless they meet a specific criteria they are not accepted. The development of a shore excursion that considers the nationality, age, special interests and number of passengers associated with a specific cruise ship will have more likelihood of being included as part of that cruise ship’s shore excursion program in comparison to one that has not. 

Cruise Product Development – Shore Excursions

Townsville Enterprise works with local operators to assist them in developing their tourism product for the cruise market. Inbound Tourism Operators (ITOs) act as the middle man, on-selling local products to cruise ships to sell to passengers. To be considered by an ITO to sell your product on-board your product needs to be established, commissionable and flexible – as ships often make changes to tours and itineraries up to just a few hours before they are set to depart.

With the construction and completion of the Quayside Cruise Terminal and Berth 10 in 2013, coupled with the variety and diversity of shore excursions and activities available to passengers, Townsville North Queensland is an attractive cruise destination. Within five minutes of disembarking in Townsville, passengers can be discovering the revitalised Townsville CBD. In 10 minutes they can be hiking, biking and bird watching in Wetlands of international importance. In 30 minutes they can be in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or on a tropical island and within an hour and a half they can be in the Australian Outback, a National Park or discovering a World Heritage listed rainforest.

Townsville Enterprise has identified the cruise market as one with significant potential to boost the region’s visitation and help reach the goal of doubling visitor expenditure by the year 2020.The cruise industry is the fastest growing travel sector in the world, recording strong growth globally. The cruise industry provides $3.2B to the Australian economy.

Cruising in Australia

The number of cruise ships operating in Australia has doubled over the last ten years from 23 to 45. These 45 ships represent 773 port visits and nearly two million passenger days in port, with an estimated expenditure of $767 million into the Australian economy. Australia is now ranked 5th as a global cruise destination with 3.6% global passenger share, leading to industry growth of 13.4% in 2013-14.

Queensland is the second largest Australian cruise shipping market in terms of activity and industry expenditure and Townsville has been identified as one of Queensland’s major cruise ship destinations. The number of anchoring cruise ships in Townsville increased to seven in 2013-14 from four in 2012-2013 which resulted in 4,282 passenger days at port. Townsville recorded $3.8 million in total expenditure from the industry in 2013-14, this provided a stimulus for $1.0 million in wages and added $1.8 million to the regional economy.

Cruise Ship Season

Australia’s cruise ship season runs from November to March, as ships sail to the Southern Hemisphere to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. Visiting ships provide an economic boost for Townsville North Queensland, during a typically slow time for tourism, spreading the economic benefit that tourists provide across the year. Cruise ships offer the opportunity to support local businesses, encourage investment, product development and sustained employment opportunities.

"Great to host @newscomauHQ journalist @emmareyn for the weekend covering a major event in our region - @PBR Iron Co… https://t.co/1xcchW4ZBd"

07:59 PM Nov 20th @TSVEnterprise