Today marked the start of the biggest cruise ship season Darwin has seen, with the arrival of Celebrity Solstice this morning.
Carrying 2,760 passengers and 1,170 crew, it is the first large ship to dock in the Top End for the 2023-24 season.
Darwin Port is expecting 103 cruise and expedition ships this season, with a total passenger capacity of 60,000 people, and an estimated expenditure of $65 million.
“Importantly, 45,000 of the visitors will arrive in the traditionally quieter tourism months, between October and April,” said Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Nicole Manison.
Sister ship Celebrity Edge is one of a number of new ships making their maiden voyage to Darwin this year.
The Northern Territory Government has implemented the Cruise Tourism Strategy 2022-2025 to increase visiting cruise liners and expedition ships and reduce the seasonality of the tourism industry.
“The cruise season is off to a bumper start and is set to be our biggest yet – providing a crucial economic boost during the quieter visitor months,” said Minister Manison.
“It gives our retailers a sales boost, fills seats in our restaurants and brings tourists to our experienced operators, while thousands of people from around the world get to see our beautiful city.
“The Territory Labor Government is reducing the seasonality of our tourism industry, to ensure it thrives all year round and provides jobs in all regions of the Territory,” she said.