Crystal Cruises’ recently appointed vp deployment, Claudius Docekal, the former director deployment and destinations for Azamara Club Cruises, did not pull any punches when he addressed last week’s 2015 annual Cruise Down Under conference in Darwin.
Docekal said Sydney and Melbourne tend to take cruise ship visits for granted and they would be well advised to improve their welcome for international passengers.
He said it is ‘appalling’ that the marquee port of Sydney has only one cruise terminal that can take ships too big to go under the Harbour Bridge and this will stop growth.
He said Australia is one of the most expensive regions in the world to operate a cruise ship and local tourism authorities should give their support.
‘If Australia doesn’t deliver, we will find somewhere else,’ he said.
Docekal, who is currently working on 2019 itineraries, said Darwin, Cairns and Broome are key ports for the Asian market and they need to be prepared.
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