The biggest cruise ship to visit Australia, the Ovation of the Seas, has docked in Darwin delivering a bumper trade for local retailers and tourism businesses.
The $1 billion state-of-the-art ship and its 4,000 passengers and 1,500 crew were welcomed at a special ceremony in Darwin yesterday that saw the Northern Territory flag fly over the ship via a sky jumper.
Other highlights of the City's welcome activities included the traditional water canon salute, live musical performances by local artists at the Wharf, the Darwin Waterfront and Smith Street Mall, reptiles and baby crocodiles in Darwin City’s Smith Street Mall and pop-up arts and craft stalls at the nearby Civic Park.
With Darwin the last stop on the ship’s maiden season in Australia, the Ovation’s passengers were also treated to a Territory-style “Farewell Flotilla” with dozens of locals hitting the water in their fishing boats and tinnies to wave goodbye to the massive ship as it set sail for Malaysia.
Tourism NT produced a short video of the Ovation's visit below.
The Northern Territory Government is working hard to position Darwin as an attractive cruise ship destination to ensure the sector, which generates $30 million to the NT economy each year, continues to grow.
This year will see 46 cruise ship visits to Darwin, one more than last year, bringing an estimated 67,000 passengers to the Top End.
The cruise industry is a key part of Tourism NT's plan to build a $2.2 billion visitor economy in the Northern Territory by 2020.
For more information on cruise shipping in the NT, visit our Cruise Ship Marketing page.