It’s CruiseFest Week at Victoria Quay

Four, yes 4, cruise ships are expected in Fremantle this week – Coral Geographer, Queen Elizabeth, Regatta and Noordam.

Coral Geographer. 29 November 2022, Fremantle. Credit Jean Hudson

This morning at 7 am, the Coral Geographer steamed between the Moles and into Fremantle’s inner harbour. Her last port of call was Busselton. This is her second visit to Freo this season and, like the last, it’s a ‘turnaround’ visit, meaning that her current passengers will disembark and new passengers will join.

Here’s a nice gallery of the Coral Geographer arriving in Freo.

She now heads out on a 12-day cruise to Broome via the Abrolhos Islands and the Coral Coast. She departs Wednesday 30 November at 9 am. We featured her here in the Shipping News on 22 October.

Queen Elizabeth arriving in Fremantle, 7 November 2022. Credit Jean Hudson

On Sunday, we learned that the Cunard Cruise Liner Queen Elizabeth had an unwelcome visitor on board – Covid. The Bali bound ship was diverted to Fremantle after leaving Darwin.we understand 10-15 % of her passengers were affected. She was originally due to arrive in Freo on Friday, but is now due on Wednesday 30 November at 10.30 am.

The QE is on a cruise from Sydney to Fremantle, around the Top End and originally via Bali. She departed Sydney on November 19 and has already visited Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas and Darwin.

QE is also on a ‘turnaround’ visit. She is scheduled to depart Freo on Friday, 2 November at 10pm, on an 11-night Fremantle to Sydney cruise. We featured her impending arrival 3 November 2022, and her arrival on 7 November.

Regatta, Fremantle, December 2019. Credit Deanna Shanahan

The Oceania Regatta Cruise ship is currently on a 78 day, one-way cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney. She departed on 25 September, is due to visit Fremantle on a ‘turnaround/transit’ visit on Thursday 1 December at 1pm.

Regatta has 1,000 passengers and crew on board and will visit Broome before arriving in Freo. She departs a day later on Friday at 8pm. The cruise will finish in Sydney on 12 December.


Holland America Line’s Noordam, with a capacity for 2366 passengers, will arrive on Friday 2 December at 6.30am.

Noordam is currently on a 70-day one-way cruise from San Diego to Sydney. She too will visit Broome before arriving in Fremantle. She departs on Saturday, 3 December at 1pm and heads to Sydney.

In other cruising newsLonely Planet has named WA as a Best Travel Destination in 2021 – no wonder cruising in the Kimberley on smaller ships is so hugely popular. Coral Expeditions, Coral Geographer and Coral Adventurer have visited Fremantle this season.

Credit Ponant

Ponant have confirmed that its luxurious 32-guest, three-masted sailing vessel, Le Ponant will cruise between Broome and Kuri Bay, home of the Paspaley pearl farm on the Kimberley Coast, in 2023.

True North Adventure Cruises are to introduce a second ship in 2023, True North II, providing a significant boost in capacity for the Australian company. True North II will offer a more intimate experience for 22 guests, versus 36 guests on their other ship.

The soon to be True North II, now Ratu Motu. Credit Ratu Motu charters

True North II, currently known as Ratu Motu, will reposition to Fremantle boat yards, where it will receive a soft refit before its maiden voyage in March 2023. Both True North ships will have their own helicopter.

Back to Freo – later in the week, all three-cruise vessels will be alongside at once. It’s going to be a busy week at Victoria Quay with some berth shuffling occurring, and the regular car trade and break-bulk activities going on as well at E Berth and H Berth.

On Monday afternoon – seven ships were moored in the inner harbour.

* Tugela – a Wallenius Wilhelmsen vehicle carrier – or RO-RO, sailing under the Flag of Malta. (Tugela is named after the Tugela River – the longest river in Kwazulu Nata Province, South Africa).
* OOCL Italy – a container ship, sailing under the Flag of Hong Kong. She has a lovely white hull with red letters. Next port of call Singapore.
* APL Boston – a container ship, sailing under the Flag of Singapore.
* Fitzroy – a container ship sailing under the Flag of Liberia.
* AAL Nanjing – a cargo ship, arrived from Ciwandan, Indonesia and heading to Singapore.
* Maysora – is a livestock carrier and sails under the Flag of the Bahamas.
* Shirase – the Japanese Icebreaker, on whim we reported recently, is still in town.
* Absolute I, the local Freo based Oil Products Tanker, is busy this week refueling these vessels.

So, it’s all go in our harbour. Head on down – but make sure your camera or iPhone is charged!

* STORY by our Shipping Correspondent, Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey. Jean is also a regular feature writer and photographer here on the Shipping News. You may also like to follow up her informative Places I Love stories, as well as other feature stories and Freo Today photographs, right here.


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