More than 40 cruise ships sailing Australia this summer

Peter Terlato 29 September 2016

Cruise Ship Radiant Sydney Australia

Close to 900 calls to port over the course of the season.

Australia will welcome a record-breaking 41 cruise ships to its waters later this year, including eight vessels on maiden visits, making almost 900 calls to ports during the season.

This year's season commences 1 October 2016 and concludes 30 April 2017.

More than half the visiting ships will offer return journeys from Australian shores, equating to almost 400 roundtrip itineraries from local ports, up 20% on last year.

The vessels will make close to 900 calls to port over the course of the season, 10% more than last year.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia commercial director Brett Jardine says the record-breaking figures reflect thriving passenger numbers, both from and to Australia.

CLIA data shows Australia is the fourth largest source market for cruise passengers globally, with over one millions Aussies enjoying a cruise last year, up 14.6% year-on-year.

Australian passenger numbers have increased by almost 20% annually over the last 10 years.

Eight ships from five different cruise lines will be sailing to Australia for the first time ever this year, calling in to around 70 coastal towns and cities during their stay.

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas will arrive in Western Australia in December to make the first of six maiden calls. The vessel was launched in April this year and will be the largest ship to visit Australia.

Celebrity Solstice's return to Sydney on 8 October will be the first international ship call of the summer.

Cunard's remastered flagship vessel, the Queen Mary 2, will rendezvous with younger sister ship Queen Elizabeth in Sydney before visiting Tasmania for the very first time early next year.

Princess Cruises' Sea Princess will depart Sydney in January for its first-ever round trip to South America.

According to CLIA, Australia's cruise industry generates $3.6 billion in economic benefits each year.

Although cruising is one of the most popular holiday choices, it comes with a heightened degree of risk. We've listed five real-life examples of why you need cruise travel insurance.

We've also compiled a guide, identifying some of the best places to book cruises online.

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