Victoria Port Fee Hike Turns Cruise Line Away

Carnival Cruise has taken another hit, 1 month after the business was sued by passengers for negligence in 2020.
Victoria Port Fee Hike Turns Cruise Line Away
Today marks the maiden call of Majestic Princess, the second Princess cruise ship to depart from the Port of Los Angeles, in San Pedro on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. (Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Sydney Staff

A 15 percent increase for port fees in Victoria will see two Carnival Cruise ships forced to dock elsewhere.

The Princess Cruises and Cunard ships will be unable to board passengers from historical Station Pier, Melbourne, from the beginning of 2025 according to the Victorian cruise schedule.

Chief strategy officer of Carnival Australia, Teresa Lloyd, said the increase of port fees were “unexpected and significant.”

Ms. Lloyd added that while she appreciated the “maintenance of ports” but the “15 percent increase without notice was unreasonable.”

One in 17 Australians currently take a cruise every year. This number is expected to drop due to the absence of the Princess Cruise line at the Victorian port.

Meanwhile, Sydney and Brisbane, which have well established cruise terminals, have been unaffected.

As the Princess Cruise line can now only go to those cities it will cause Melbourne to fall behind in cruise tourism.

The Victorian Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive, Felice Mariana, voiced her concerns on the possible impact. She stated it was important for cruises to land in Melbourne for “not only the tourism industry but for broader economic returns.”

Opposition ports spokeswoman Roma Britnell said, “What we'll see and we’re already seeing is cruise ships leave the port and go interstate such as Sydney and Brisbane.”

“You can’t tax your way out of a problem,” she added.

The last full cruise season in 2019 recorded that Victoria earned $317 million (US$211 million) from fees in one year. Station Pier recorded 314,000 visits from passengers and 134 from cruise ships.
As a result this will require many cruise-goers to travel interstate.

Melbourne Loses Biggest Cruise Ship

The biggest cruise ship that will have ever hit Australian waters, the Crown Princess cruise ship, christened by TV Personality Martha Stewart was just announced. It seats 3,080 guests and will depart from Australia in 2026 for a 114 day cruise.

Melbourne’s inability to participate in this event will further detriment their welfare and success, compared to Sydney and Brisbane.

Ms. Mariana acknowledged that Victoria would “never take over Sydney as queen of cruising.” But she noted that it was due to Victoria’s inability to keep up with the “demands of both the tourism market as well as the physical demands of a larger vessel.”

This news comes one month after they lost a lawsuit for negligence for COVID protocols that lead to the Ruby Princess outbreak in 2020. A previous passenger named Henry Karpik who received COVID-19 during the incident was paid over $4,000 in compensation in October (pdf).

Additionally, the Diamond Princess was the first cruise ship during the pandemic to have registered a positive COVID passenger on board.

The prestigious cruise company has suffered multiple losses over the past few years, including a loss of over $55 billion during COVID and responsibility for the loss of 254,000 jobs in America.

However since their restart in 2022, they have ensured all crew members are vaccinated and the company has earnt approximately $4.2 billion per year.

As a result of the Princess cruise line being discontinued from Station Pier, Carnival will lose further income from refunds and reduced amount of passengers.