Cruise Tourism Strategy

Cruise Ship at Darwin Harbour

Tourism NT, in consultation with the Northern Territory tourism industry, is working to capitalise on the growth of the cruise sector through the Northern Territory Cruise Tourism Strategy 2022 - 2025.

The Strategy provides the NT Government and industry with a clear direction on the initiatives required to continue to promote the NT as a desirable cruise destination. The Strategy also outlines key areas of focus to grow the cruise sector and maximise the benefits for all Territorians.

The Strategy has been developed by Tourism NT in partnership with AEC Group Pty Ltd, major stakeholders from the cruise tourism sector including Darwin Port, the City of Darwin, Tourism Top End, Darwin Waterfront Corporation, Activate Darwin, the Darwin City and Retailers Association and local Aboriginal corporations and communities.

The purpose of the Strategy is to:

  1. Identify the opportunities to grow cruise tourism in the Northern Territory.
  2. Outline the core activities that will deliver real outcomes from cruise tourism in the Northern Territory.
  3. Signal to the cruise industry that the Northern Territory is taking a proactive approach to cruise tourism development and encouraging growth.

According to the Australian Cruise Association, the industry body charged with marketing Australia and the South Pacific as a desirable cruise destination to major cruise lines, the estimated total output of the Australian cruise shipping industry in 2018-19 was $5.2 billion, with a direct expenditure of $2.5 billion.

The majority of large cruise shipping activity occurs in Australian waters between October and April, during our southern hemisphere summer. Darwin benefits from this activity as cruise ships relocate to the southern hemisphere, often using Darwin as their entry and exit port into Australia.

Darwin attracts large international cruise ships, as well as offering reliable, efficient turn-around facilities for expeditionary cruise vessels during our dry season months, April through September. The expedition cruise ship market shows great potential as cruise lines look to explore the Kimberley region between Darwin and Broome, and the Northern Territory’s remote coastline between Darwin and Cairns.

More information

If you have any questions about working with the cruise sector, or require further information, please contact [email protected].

Page last updated on 12 May 2022