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Carnival Australia threatens to boycott Melbourne over fee hike

Teresa Lloyd said a 15% increase in port fees and charges with no notice is ‘unreasonable'
Carnival Australia put the Victorian government on notice, saying Princess Cruises and Cunard will cease deployment there from 2025 due to an unexpected increase in port fees and charges.

The company said that, after almost 15 years of proudly homeporting in Melbourne and cruising with more than 100,000 Victorians in the past year alone, Princess Cruises and Cunard made the difficult decision to send their ships elsewhere from the 2025-26 season.

Not made lightly

Chief Strategy Officer Teresa Lloyd said the decision to no longer have Princess and Cunard sail from Melbourne from 2025 was not made lightly.

‘We love Melbourne and so do our local, interstate and international guests,’ Lloyd said. 

‘The cultural capital of Australia is the gateway into southern Australia but also a much-loved destination for millions of tourists,’ she said.

Fee hike

‘However, the decision to homeport these popular cruise lines in other markets is in no small part due to the recent decision made by Ports Victoria to significantly and unexpectedly increase fees and charges.

‘We understand these fees will be ongoing and will largely go towards the ongoing costs of maintaining Station Pier.’

Lloyd said the cruise industry in 2022/23 contributed A$379.5m to the state’s economy.

She said this windfall directly supports producers, suppliers, the hospitality industry and jobs.

‘Our economic benefit to Victoria is immense and we appreciate the importance of maintaining our ports, but to be expected to carry a 15% increase with no notice is unreasonable,’ she said.

Open to solution

’We want to be in Melbourne and remain open to finding a long-term solution  together with Ports Victoria and the Victorian government.’