Second Brisbane Cruise Liner Terminal in Pinkenba Planned as Demand Surges

Queensland’s cruise industry is experiencing a remarkable resurgence, and plans to fast-track the development of a second Brisbane Cruise Liner Terminal in Pinkenba are now in the works to meet the burgeoning demand.

After languishing as a ghost town during the pandemic, Brisbane’s cruise terminal sprang to life, welcoming 138 cruise ships during its first full year of operation last season. The Pinkenba facility is on track to record a 20 percent increase in the number of ships this season.

This unprecedented surge in cruise traffic is driving discussions to expedite the construction of a second terminal at the mouth of the Brisbane River to accommodate the growing number of cruise ships flocking to the region.

Brisbane’s Record Cruise Season

Brisbane is set to host an estimated 165 cruise ships, bringing nearly 800,000 passengers in 2023. Many of these passengers will embark on journeys along the picturesque Queensland coast, injecting a substantial $200 million windfall into the state’s tourism industry. 

This record-breaking season is further highlighted by the arrival of Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, commencing a 25-voyage season in Brisbane that will bring a staggering 115,000 passengers to the city.

Port of Brisbane CEO, Neil Stephens, expressed his enthusiasm for the new cruise season and the contribution of the cruise industry to Queensland’s economy. 

“The industry is a big part of Queensland’s economic and tourism success story, with cruising from Brisbane estimated to contribute around $1.15 billion to the state economy over the next decade,” he said.

Brisbane Cruise Liner Terminal
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Economic Impact and Expansion Plans

Brisbane’s growing reputation as a world-class cruise hub is attracting more ships to its shores, generating jobs and boosting economic activity in the region.

However, the surge in cruise traffic is outstripping the capacity of the current terminal. The facility can only accommodate one ship visit per day, and during the summer months, it operates near full capacity. Port officials are already assessing future demand to plan for expansion, ensuring that they can cater to the growing appetite for cruise travel.

Gavin Smith, Vice President and Managing Director of Royal Caribbean’s Australia and New Zealand division, expressed the company’s enthusiasm for the region’s potential growth. 

“The proximity of Queensland to the islands in the Pacific, the Great Barrier Reef, the new terminal, all the pieces are there. There’s a lot of momentum, and we’re very excited about the opportunities,” Mr Smith said. 

Queensland’s Dominance in the Cruise Market

Data from Cruise Lines International Association and the Australian Cruise Association confirms Queensland’s status as Australia’s second-largest cruise market after Sydney. However, industry insiders believe that Brisbane has the potential for further growth, making it a promising hub for cruise tourism. 

The research reveals that Queensland contributed an impressive $1.69 billion to the national cruise economy in the last financial year, supporting more than 5,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Published 1-Nov-2023