Princess Cruises’ three Australian-based ships – Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess – will start docking at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal in Australia this June.
Princess’ 2,000-guest ships previously anchored north of the city at Yorkeys Knob, while passengers were transferred to Cairns via tender boats. However, new simulator exercises have shown that they will be able to safely traverse the channel to the city’s harbour and Trinity Inlet to berth at the cruise terminal, giving passenger instant access to the city.
The new berthing arrangements will start when Dawn Princess calls on 8 June. A further 16 calls that were scheduled for Yorkeys Knob between September 2016 and September 2017 will also be transferred to the terminal.
"The new exercises have demonstrated conclusively that it's possible to get our 77,000gt Sun-class ships into Trinity Inlet to dock at the cruise terminal, which is fantastic news for our guests, as well as the people of Cairns," said Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises’ vice president of Australia and New Zealand. "Cairns has always been a popular port with our guests, even when they have to take tender transfers from Yorkeys Knob. With our ships now docking in the heart of the city, our passengers will be able to spend even more time exploring Cairns and its surrounds, which will deliver even greater benefits to the city."
In total, the 17 calls are expected to inject more than AUS$8 million into the Cairns economy.
“The announcement further underscores the vital importance of the Port of Cairns as a critical enabler of tourism for Cairns and the region,” said Curtis Pitt, Queensland Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport. “The suitability of Cairns for these ships will only strengthen Cairns' position as an international cruise tourism destination.”