Cruise Ship Tourism

Cruise ship tourism offers opportunities for Tasmanian tourism businesses, especially those offering tours or attractions.

Cruise ship types

There are four general vessel categories (from smallest to largest):

  • 'Expedition and adventure' cruise ships can access more destinations, have itineraries with several stops in a local area and because of their size, have the lowest infrastructure demands and impacts. They are also have higher passenger return visits and higher base port spends.
  • 'Boutique' cruise ships usually have a capacity of less than 500 passengers such as Silver Cloud. They provide quality services and experiences and are targeted at the higher yield end of the market with passengers likely to consider return visits to destinations included in the cruise.
  • 'Mid-size' cruise ships have a capacity of 500 to 1250, such as the Pacific Princess, or of 1250 to 2000 passengers such as Pacific Sky. These vessels have greater port infrastructure demands than the previous classes, requiring greater channel depths and generally requiring wharf berthing. Their size generates demand for shore tours and facilities.
  • 'Mega' cruise ships are the largest. They generally limit their visits to major capital cities or tourist destination centres. These ships do not usually come to Tasmania.

There are also visiting military vessels with a 'rest and recreation' component to their visit. Some have crews in excess of 5000 and individuals can spend as much as $400 a day. As such, they can have similar economic impacts to more traditional cruise ships however they are generally not included in the cruise ship data.

Cruise ships in Tasmania

Tasmania's major ports for cruise ships are Burnie and Hobart, accommodating one and two cruise ships respectively on any one day.

Periodic visits by small to medium sized cruise ships are also made to Devonport and Inspection Head.

Cruise ships also call at a number of outports around the state, with several visits to Port Arthur, Coles Bay and Wine Glass Bay undertaken each cruise ship season.

The following cruise lines currently call at Tasmania.

Cruise LineShips
Azamara Club Azamara Quest, Azamara Journey
Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Spirit, Carnival Splendor
Celebrity Celebrity Solstice
CMV Astor, Vasco De Gama
Compagnie Du PonantL'Austral, Le Laperouse
Coral ExpeditionsCoral Discoverer
Crystal Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity, Crystal Endeavour
Cunard Queen Elizabeth
Dream CruisesExplorer Dream, Ocean Dream
Hapag-Llyod Europa, Europa 2
Holland America Maasdam, Noordam
MSC CruisesMSC Magnifica
Norwegian Norwegian Jewel
Oceania Sirena, Insignia, Ragatta
Princess Sun Princess, Golden Princess, Sea Princess, Ruby Princess, Majestic Princess
P&O Pacific Aria, Pacific Explorer, Pacific Jewel
Phoenix Reisen Artania
Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Legend of the Seas
Regent Seven Seas Seven Seas Voyager
Silversea Silver Whisper, Silver Muse
Residencies at Sea The World
Viking ocean Cruises Viking Orion, Viking Sun

Economic impact

Cruise-related expenditure can help measure the economic impact of a cruise ship visit. Expenditure by a cruise liner generally falls into three categories - passenger, crew and vessel related expenditure.

Passenger and crew expenditure can include meals, food and wine, tours, entertainment, gifts, and transport.

Vessel expenditure includes port charges (navigation and berthing charges), pilotage charges, towage charges, bunkering, supplies such as food and water, services such as waste disposal and passenger related expenditure such as security, baggage handling, customs and quarantine charges.

Cruise visitor spend and the overall economic impact of a cruise ship visit is difficult to measure accurately as cruise lines may pay shore expedition companies for tours. These tours are part of a total package paid for by passengers, including their airfare, cruise, meals and all shore excursions and as such, the expenditure related to a specific location is not easily identified.

For more information see Australian Cruise Association.


The Tasmanian Ports Corporation (Tasports) is a registered, private company fully owned by the Tasmanian Government. Tasports is responsible for the operations and management of all ports in Tasmania and facilitates trade for the benefit of Tasmania through the commercial provision of infrastructure and services.

For more information see Tasports.

Shipping agents

These agents represent cruise lines in a particular country or port for all matters relating to cruise ship calls. They secure berths and anchorages, arrange for stores and bunkers and organise for Customs and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to visit the vessel.

See Shipping Industry Suppliers

Shore excursion companies

Shore excursion companies, also known as Shore Ex or ground operators, design day tours for passengers by packaging a range of products. They then sell these tours to cruise lines for sale on board the ship prior to arrival. Shore excursion companies negotiate rates from suppliers when they design the package, which can be up to two years or more before the scheduled visit. Most of the large cruise shipping lines use shore excursion companies with several shore excursion companies offering services to cruise lines coming to Tasmania.

If you want your product included in a cruise day tour package you need to develop a relationship with the shore excursion companies.

See Shore Excursion Companies

Promote your experience

With advances in technology and changing demographics, an increasing number of cruise ship passengers choose to plan and book their activities independently – including attractions and tours to experience while in port.

Hobart City Council and Burnie City Council provide a complimentary Meet and Greet service for cruise ship visitors. These services cater to the independent passenger segment and include a welcome and information provision by a team of trained volunteers.

Free shuttle bus services are available, transporting passengers from dockside to city and providing access to the visitor information centre for bookings.

If you offer visitor experiences targeted to the cruise ship market and want to be promoted through a visitor information centre, then contact your local office.

See How to Work in the Cruise Industry [PDF 1.4MB]

Related publications

Further information

Tourism Tasmania

Aletta Macdonald
Phone: +61 3 6165 5280

Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty Ltd (Tasports)

Kristy Little
Commercial Manager Cruise & Events
T: +61 3 6222 6020