Carnival Australia threatens to pull ships from Melbourne over tax hike

Nov 29, 2023

Carnival Australia has issued a warning to the Victorian government, announcing that Princess Cruises and Cunard, two of its major brands, will cease deployment in Melbourne starting in 2025. This decision was announced after a surge in port fees, set to redirect these cruise lines to other ports.

The unexpected tax hike, deemed "unreasonable" by Carnival Australia, prompted the decision to withdraw the Princess Cruises and Cunard deployments from. Teresa Lloyd, Chief Strategy Officer for Carnival Australia, emphasized the gravity of the decision, stating that it was not made lightly. In a statement, she expressed the company's affection for Melbourne and its popularity among local and international guests.

While Melbourne holds a special place as the cultural capital of Australia and a beloved destination for millions of tourists, the decision to shift homeporting of these prominent cruise lines to other markets is directly linked to the recent decision by Ports Victoria to substantially increase fees and charges. 

Lloyd urged the state government to reconsider the impending tax hike, set to take effect from January 1, 2024. Carnival Australia, highlighting its substantial economic contribution to Victoria, expressed a willingness to work collaboratively with Ports Victoria and the Victorian government to find a long-term solution that benefits all parties.

"Our economic benefit to Victoria is immense, and we appreciate the importance of maintaining our ports, but to be expected to carry a 15 percent increase with no notice is unreasonable," Lloyd stated. The plea to reconsider the tax hike underscores the cruise giant's commitment to maintaining its presence in Melbourne and contributing to the state's tourism industry.

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