Busselton has a growing reputation as a destination port within the global cruise industry. Pre-Covid 19, the 2018/19 season welcomed 9,850 passengers and crew via 12 cruise ships. This grew to 17 arrivals being confirmed for the 2020/21 season prior to the onset of the pandemic.
Key factors attracting cruise lines to Busselton include the spectacular visual surroundings at the tender port. Busselton is not a working port, but a bustling tourist hub, and passengers are welcomed at the pristine Busselton Foreshore. Cruise ship tenders disembark onto the heritage-listed Busselton Jetty complete with its Underwater Observatory – a major tourist attraction in its own right.
The tender port also stands out because of the high level of cooperation between the local tourism association (MRBTA), local government (City of Busselton), local tourism operators and the local community, who all work together to welcome cruise ships in a professional and seamless way.
MRBTA manages the shoreside experience for cruise ship arrivals at Busselton. A tailored welcome is offered to passengers of every cruise ship arriving at Busselton. During 2018/19, this included a team of over 70 volunteers greeting passengers; live entertainment; ‘Cruise-In’ markets offering locally produced goods and a free-of-charge City Hopper Bus.
Passenger surveys carried out during each arrival produce overwhelmingly positive feedback. During the 2018/19 season:
- 97% of passengers said that they would return to the destination as a result of their visit.
- Busselton received a rating of 7/10 or more from every single passenger, with 66% of passengers giving the destination a rating of 9 or 10/10.
- Ranked most highly by passengers was the tailored welcome; including friendly staff, volunteers and City Hopper Bus.
The contribution of MRBTA also includes holding regular ‘Cruise Ready’ workshops for local tourism operators in order to build capacity and ensure that shore excursions meet the changing expectations of cruise passengers.
Busselton Cruise Ship Arrival Schedule
Download the scheduled arrival of cruise ship visits to the tender-port of Busselton. This will be updated as information becomes available.