Announcement: Cruise ship cancellations in response to Australian Government requirements

On 20 May, the Minister for Health extended the restrictions under the Biosecurity Determination 2020 for the operation of cruise ships in Australia, restricting the entry of cruise ships (capable of carrying 100 or more passengers) into Australian Territory and entry at Australian ports until 17 September 2020.

These arrangements are under constant review by the Australian Government as the COVID-19 situation evolves and will be revised based on updated health advice.

This announcement relates to cruise ship visits only and does not impact other vessel operations at Port of Newcastle.

For further updates on the Port’s response to COVID-19, please visit our News and Media section

 Port of Newcastle’s cruise berth is located within a five minute drive of Newcastle’s CBD

The Port is also within an hour’s drive of the pristine beaches of Port Stephens.

For more information on all that Newcastle and the surrounding regions have to offer, visit one of the links below:

Frequently asked questions

The priority wharf for berthing cruise ships is called the Channel Berth at Carrington. Sometimes other berths are used due to operational reasons. Refer to the map below.

There is a free return shuttle from the berth that runs to-and-from the Newcastle CBD. This shuttle is only available to passengers and crew. Taxis are also available at the berth.

For visits on 18 and 25 November, the drop-off point has been relocated from Queens Wharf to Wright Lane adjacent Newcastle Museum. 

The drop-off point will remain at Queens Wharf after these dates. 

Yes, there is a drop off/pick up area at the berth for private transport. Please advise your family and friends to follow instructions from security personnel.

Cruise line’s provides a tour booking service on board the ship for passengers to book tours during their journey. These tours are managed by the cruise line through Ground Handlers. A list of ground handlers follows for you to contact directly to discuss your offers:

Unfortunately due to security and safety concerns, tours that have not been coordinated through the shipping line/ground handler will not be permitted on site.

Please arrange an alternative location to collect your passengers.

All passengers have access to the free shuttle bus that drops them at Queens Wharf.

The Channel Berth was commissioned as the Port’s cruise berth in 2010, recognising that cruise ships were growing larger and needed a deepwater berth that was easy to access, with plenty of land available for coach parking. It can handle vessels up to 320 metres in length, such as the 317 metre long Celebrity Solstice, the longest ship to visit the Port.

More than 30 coaches can park at the Channel Berth, which enables passengers to quickly transit from the ship to attractions across the Hunter region and by shuttle to the Foreshore of our vibrant City.

Click here to learn more about the evolution of cruise ships visiting Newcastle.

Cruise ship itineraries are made with long lead times and cruise ship operators have their own business factors to consider in the development of their future programs. 

Port of Newcastle has consulted with cruise ship operators regarding its facilities in Newcastle. The advice received is that the sector needs a stronger ecosystem, including regular international flights, providoring businesses, ship refuelling and other support services, in order for cruise ships to be based here.

The NSW Government allocated $12.7 million in 2016 to build a new cruise terminal in Newcastle. It was announced in April 2019 that this Infrastructure NSW funding was no longer available. 

The funding withdrawal is a matter for the NSW Government.

There is no general public access in the port for security and safety reasons. The best viewing locations of cruise ships are along the harbour foreshore in Newcastle, Macquarie Pier, Horseshoe Beach or at Stockton.

Information is available via the official tourism website for Newcastle and for the wider Hunter Region.

Cruise Schedule

The best viewing locations of cruise ships are along the harbour foreshore in Newcastle, Macquarie Pier, Horseshoe Beach or at Stockton.

Cruise ship schedule is subject to change. Arrival and departure times may vary dependent on other shipping movements in the port.

Cruise ships enter the Port approximately one hour before they are due at the berth. On departure, cruise ships pass Nobbys Headland around 15 minutes after they have departed the berth.

The 2020/2021 Cruise Schedule is yet to be confirmed. 

Cruise ship bookings

For cruise ship operators booking future visits to Newcastle, the Vessel Operator or its Agent, must submit the following form. 

Please note:

  • Port of Newcastle will confirm the booking on a first request basis for the Channel Berth only.
  • Any vessel not able to be accommodated at the Channel Berth will be considered for another berth, all other berths are turn of arrival, the booking will be confirmed closer to the date.
  • This form does not replace the Vessel Booking Request in cPorts. A VBA is still required to be submitted closer to the booking date.
  • Newcastle is not approved for first port of arrival or departure for passenger ships. Australian Border Force approval will need to accompany any request for international arrival or departure.
  • Maiden visits require Harbour Master navigational approval. Port of Newcastle can assist and advise with gaining this approval.
  • No booking fee is payable. However, if a Vessel Operator cancels its confirmed booking within 12 months of its scheduled arrival at the Port, a booking cancellation fee will be payable to Port of Newcastle, depending on the period of notice given. 
By submitting the Passenger Ship Booking Request Form, either directly or through its Agent, the Vessel Operator of a cruise ship will be deemed to have accepted, and be bound by, the terms and conditions of the Passenger Ship Booking Request Form, including the booking cancellation fee terms.