2016 Australian port or terminal of the year


Townsville Cruise Ship Committee - Half Year Report

5 February 2018

NEW MEMBERS:  Hinchinbrook Shire Council and Fantasea Cruising Magnetic

CRUISE SHIP BOOKINGS: Townsville will welcome 19 cruise ships in 2018, with 11bookings so far confirmed for next year, and 5 for 2020.  Earlier this week P&O Cruises Australia confirmed it will return to Townsville in 2019 after recently adding Townsville to its domestic itineraries. 


  • Port of Townsville, in collaboration with local designer Pip Earl, unveiled a new cruise ship uniform for staff in November at the season launch.
  • The free WiFi service at Quayside Terminal was upgraded in the off-season and can now comfortably host up to 1,000 users at a time. More seating was also purchased for the lounge.
  • New welcome signage for the berth and terminal, showcasing stunning scenery from our region, was installed in November.
  • Townsville Taxis continue to excel with their service for cruise ships. Recent improvements include shade structures at the pick up area, a staff member on site all day to ensure super-quick service, and $5 gift vouchers provided to all passengers.
  • Woolworths City Lane generously provided complimentary tropical fruit for the season launch and are on board again in 2018.
  • Townsville City Council made some great changes to the free city shuttle bus service, moving to smaller capacity vehicles to allow better access through the CBD/Strand.
  • The Townsville Enterprise volunteers won bronze at the 2017 QLD Tourism Awards in the Volunteer Group category. 


  • The cruise ship terminal markets have been a huge success with vendors reporting excellent sales and passengers really enjoying the experience. The next cruise ship arrival on 16 February is now at capacity with 25 market stalls booked. Applications by stall holders (no fee) can be lodged at and a ballot will occur every 6 months to rotate the spaces.


  • Townsville introduced a visitor book in 2017 to capture passenger feedback. The results have been overwhelmingly positive and has given the Committee reassurance that our destination is leaving a great impression. View some of the visitor book pageshere.


  • Townsville's booking rate for shore-based excursions on board the ship continues to improve, now averaging around 40% of total passengers (up from 25%). 
  • Charters Towers Regional Council's hard work to attract cruise tourism is paying off. The famous gold rush town is expecting fully booked tours to arrive in February and March.   
  • Other strong performers include Billabong Sanctuary, Reef HQ and city sights tour, Mungalla Aboriginal Tours, Bungalow Bay (Magnetic Island) and the World Heritage Rainforest. 


  • P&O's Pacific Eden will complete a trial mini-turnaround in September.
  • Passenger tickets sold out within 6 weeks of the on-sale date.
  • Port of Townsville and Townsville Enterprise staff have visited Cairns and Brisbane to view turnaround activities to ensure our planning for Townsville is well informed.
  • Representatives from Carnival and Abercrombie & Kent visited Townsville late last year to inspect the cruise ship terminal and discuss logistics - everything is on track for a smooth trial. 


  • Port of Townsville and Townsville Enterprise reps attended the Australian Cruise Association Conference in September 2017, and presented on the hard work being done to make Townsville a cruise destination of choice.
  • The Townsville NQ Events & Insider Guide was released by Townsville Enterprise in January - online version available here
  • Drone footage and aerial images were obtained when Seabourn Encore and Silver Shadow visited Townsville late in 2017 and the material is being used to create a new Townsville Cruise Marketing Kit which will be pitched to cruise reps across the globe.
  • Townsville will be represented at the 2018 Seatrade Global Cruise Conference at Fort Lauderdale (US) in March 2018 by Tourism Events Queensland with our new marketing materials on hand.