Territory Waters Open To Lucrative Cruiseship Industry

NT Government

Natasha Fyles

Minister for Tourism and Hospitality

Media Release

Territory Waters Open To Lucrative Cruise Ship Industry

16 February 2021

The cruise ship industry is set to safely return to Territory waters in a multi-million dollar boost to the local economy.

Based on expert health advice, the Chief Health Officer has updated a direction permitting expedition cruise ships with up to 350 passengers and crew to operate in the Northern Territory.

This is a significant increase on the previous cap of 150 passengers and crew.

The cruise ship industry is a key economic driver and generated an estimated $60 million of annual expenditure within the Territory pre-COVID.

This decision forms part of the staged re-opening of the cruise industry in the Territory, in line with public health advice.

The Territory Government is backing the tourism sector and businesses with a suite of measures including:

– $12.8 million to lure international holiday makers and workers to the Territory

– Domestic marketing campaigns including Seek Different and Summer Sale

– Securing deals with Qantas to extend the double-daily London-Darwin route and establishing an E190 aircraft base

Other support measures we have implemented include the Territory Tourism Vouchers, Tourism Survival Fund, Visitation Reliant Small Business Support, and a Mates Rates campaign for Central Australia.

Quotes from Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Natasha Fyles:

“The cruise ship industry is a vital part of the Top End tourism sector and injects millions into the economy each year.

“This increase to the capacity of crew and passengers on board domestic boutique cruise ships will be a major boost to operators and retailers.

“We are safely re-opening the cruise ship industry in a staged approach and look forward to seeing this industry return and grow into the future.”

Quotes from Sarina Bratton AM, Chair Asia Pacific PONANT:

“PONANT applauds the Northern Territory government’s decision in leading the nation to allow our small expedition ships to once again visit NT waters and seasonally homeport in Darwin.

“The international expedition sector is a major contributor to indigenous Australians along the Kimberley coastline, and significant contributors to the tourism economies of both the Northern Territory and Australia’s North West.

“We are now calling upon the Australian Government to immediately adjust the declaration under the Biosecurity Act to allow our operations in Australian waters to commence.”

Northern Territory Government

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