FREMANTLE was visited by a guest of titanic proportions on Wednesday, as cruise liner Ovation of the Seas brought over 4000 passengers, and injected more than $500,000 into the city’s economy.
Completed in 2016, the vessel is one of the largest cruise ships in the world, boasting the first ever sea-based skydiving simulator, 18 restaurants, and even robotic bartenders, which can shake two cocktails a minute.
Cruise ship expert Chris Frame says mega cruise liners visiting Fremantle make a significant contribution to the state’s economy.
“The economic impact of a cruise ship’s visit is much deeper than just passengers spending in the shops,” he says.
“It’s all the associated services, from port staff to the purchase of WA food and drinks to stock aboard the ship.
“Everything from WA’s award winning wines to quality produce like local milk, cheeses, meat and poultry will be purchased. This is why it’s so beneficial to keep attracting large ships to our shores.”
Mr Frame says in order to effectively capture these economic benefits and make Fremantle a hub for cruise ships of this size, otherdestinations in WA need to be developed.
“If you want to have a ship based in Fremantle, that’s fine, this terminal can handle it, but where are they going to go?” he says.
“If you’re looking at the East Coast, they can be in Brisbane, then be in Sydney two days later, Melbourne two days later, then Hobart two days after that.”
Mr Frame says transatlantic ocean liner Queen Mary II will be in Fremantle for two days next year, before going on to Busselton.
“That’s superb for Busselton, but she anchors and you have to spend the whole day tendering. Imagine if there was a port that could accommodate the ship and then they could go to Geraldton, or somewhere else. Then they could build real itineraries out of Fremantle.”
Mr Frame says bigger international ports have amenities and services right next to the cruise terminal, and Fremantle could learn from this.
“The only way to make Fremantle any more successful than it currently is, is to bring that entertainment precinct closer to the ships. Fremantle is a little bit detached.”
by MOLLY SCHMIDT and WILSON BELL