Australia is the “hot property” on the international cruise scene according to the industry’s peak body, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Holland America's Noordam, seen here cruising in Venice, will be based in Sydney for the summer months.
Holland America’s Noordam, seen here cruising in Venice, will be sailing out of  the Australian port of Sydney this  summer.

CLIA Australasia’s Brett Jardine says cruise lines around the world are looking for new destinations and new homeports for their ships, and Australia fits the bill on all counts.

“Not only do we have fantastic ports to visit and great weather, we also have a population that can’t wait to cruise, and that is encouraging more cruise lines to send more ships our way,’ says Sydney-based Mr Jardine.

A record flotilla of 38 ships from CLIA’s member cruise lines will sail in Australian water this summer, with an unprecedented eight ships making maiden visits Down Under.

Mr Jardine says the growth in maiden ship visits is another clear indicator of the surging popularity of cruising in Australian waters, with the new arrivals ranging from superliners to boutique-sized ships.

Indeed, Australians’ passion for cruising – more than 1 million took a cruise last year – has fuelled the nation’s biggest ever summer cruise season which gets underway later this month and runs until late April. Between them, this summer’s cruise ships sailing Down Under will make more than 800 calls to Australian ports, including 40 maiden port calls.

Azamara Club Cruises makes its first ever call to Australia with Azamara Quest ( arriving in local waters early in January.  Other ships making Australian  debuts include Costa Cruises’ Costa Luminosa ( America Line’s Noordam ( Cruises’ Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden (, Ponant’s Le Soleal (, Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess (, and Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas (