MSC Magnifica and Norwegian Jewel cruise liners announce Wollongong visits

New visitor: Norwegian Jewel is one of three new ships coming to Wollongong soon
New visitor: Norwegian Jewel is one of three new ships coming to Wollongong soon

Just two months before the return of the first ever cruise ship to visit Wollongong there is more good news for the city as a cruise destination.

Two more cruise ships are coming from two different companies, Destination Wollongong chair Tania Brown and Destination Wollongong director Leigh Colacino announced on Wednesday.

Inside the maiden cruise ship voyage to Wollongong. Video: Greg Ellis

MSC Magnifica will call into Port Kembla as part of a world cruise on March 17, 2020.

And Norwegian Cruise Line is returning in 2018 with the Norwegian Jewel set to sail into Port Kembla on Friday, December 14. 

With Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas returning to Wollongong on January 29, 2018 and Explorer of the Seas making its first visit on March 18, 2018 and returning on February 11, 2019 that gives Wollongong five more cruise visits.

MSC Magnifica World Cruise including Port Kembla.

MSC Magnifica World Cruise including Port Kembla.

The arrival of MSC Magnifica means the city has attracted the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line.

The visit of the cruise liner, carrying more than 2500 passengers, is part of a 116-day cruise from Italy.

Cr Brown, Cr Colacino and Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh know a global voyage is significant because international visitors tend access shore excursions at three times the rate of domestic passengers.

Cr Brown, Cr Colacino and Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh know a global voyage is significant because international visitors tend access shore excursions at three times the rate of domestic passengers.

Cr Brown said Destination Wollongong has been in contact with more than 60 cruise lines to promote the city as a destination port and “each new addition to the schedule opens our region to a broader tourism base”.

5000 more passengers bound for The Gong: Destination Wollongong chair Tania Brown and director Leigh Colacino announce two more cruise ships are coming to Wollongong. Picture: Robert Peet.

5000 more passengers bound for The Gong: Destination Wollongong chair Tania Brown and director Leigh Colacino announce two more cruise ships are coming to Wollongong. Picture: Robert Peet.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s first visit came almost by chance when Norwegian Star arrived but went so well the company has decided to return with the similar sized Norwegian Jewel carrying just under 2400 passengers as part of a Sydney and Tasmania cruise. The ship is a similar size to Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas which was the first ever ship to visit on October 30, 2016.

Cr Colacino said it was showing Wollongong’s reputation as a friendly port was gaining traction.

MSC Magnifica

MSC Magnifica

He said MSC Magnifica actually approached Wollongong because the European cruise line had heard so many good things about the city and knew it was such a good cruise destination.

“The feedback from Norwegian earlier this year was incredibly positive and they particularly paid tribute to our ambassador program and the welcome they received on the ground. These new cruises are a sign that we are making our mark and companies are beginning to take notice,” he said.

New volunteer ambassador shirts were also unveiled on Wednesday and will be used for the next Radiance visit in January as well other sporting and community events in the New Year.

Fast facts

MSC Magnifica

  • Length - 293.8 metres (964 ft)
  • Beam - 32.2 metres (106 ft).
  • Gross Tonne - 93,330
  • Maximum Speed – 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph).
  • Passengers – 2,550 in 1259 cabins at double occupancy; 3,605 at full capacity.
  • Crew - 1,027 crew
  • Built – 2009

Norwegian Jewel

  • Length - 965 ft
  • Beam – 125 ft
  • Gross Tonne - 93,502
  • Passengers – 2,376 (double occupancy)
  • Refurbished 2014; Built 2005
  • Crew - 1,069

VIDEOS

Voyager of the Seas first visit to Wollongong. Video: Greg Ellis.
Voyager of the Seas second visit to Wollongong. Video: Greg Ellis.
Norwegian Star visits Wollongong. Video: Greg Ellis.
Inside the maiden cruise ship voyage to Wollongong. LONG VERSION. Video: Greg Ellis