Ships Diverted To New Terminal in Pinkenba As Portside Wharf Closed

The closure of Brisbane’s Portside Wharf has prompted ships and cruise lines such as Regent Seven Sea Cruises, Silversea, and Viking to look for alternative arrangements, particularly now that the 2022/2023 cruise season has officially started.  The diversion to the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal in Pinkenba is part of preparations for a hefty makeover.

Read: Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Of The Seas Arrives At Brisbane International Cruise Terminal

Brisbane International Cruise Terminal was completed in 2020, but due to two years of uncertainty brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pinkenba facility was only opened in June 2022.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas preparing to leave BICT (Photo credit: R V/Google Maps)

Brisbane’s new international terminal, following discussions with cruise lines, is reportedly looking forward to welcoming some additional cruise visits in their facility. 

Photo credit: Brisbane International Cruise Terminal/Google Maps

Since then, Queensland’s first dedicated cruise facility has welcomed a few high-end ships, including Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Holland America Line’s Noordam.

Meanwhile, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia worries that any last-minute changes to itineraries will cause disruption to thousands of guests and affect the cruise industry as it strives to restore the country’s cruise economy. 

One of travellers’ concerns about BICT is that it’s not currently connected to public transport.

Photo credit: Gavin Braganza/Google Maps

In response to this concern, Port of Brisbane said that the issue about public transport is the responsibility of the state and local government.

“While the BICT itself doesn’t provide shuttles, we recommend passengers contact their cruise lines directly to see if they provide any services for their passengers,” Port of Brisbane stated on social media.

Portside Wharf Makeover

Artist’s impression of Portside Wharf’s makeover (Photo credit:

Portside Wharf has closed as part of its preparation for its $20 million extensive makeover, which is set to begin in late 2022 and finalised by December 2023.

Cavill Architects Practice Director Andrew D’Occhio and Urbis Senior Designer Lorena Garcia Martin said the investment would herald a new future for Portside Wharf by drawing on its rich legacy.

Read: Coming Soon at Portside Wharf: FOSH, an Upmarket Seafood Restaurant

New tenancies, such as dining, retail and entertainment sub-precincts and areas dedicated to lifestyle and wellness convenience and premium boutiques will be established as part of the Portside Wharf’s major redevelopment.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Of The Seas Arrives At Brisbane International Cruise Terminal

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas arrived at the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal in November 2022, marking a major milestone for cruising in Queensland.

Read: Portside Wharf IGA to Go Upmarket With Its Planned Expansion

This will see one of Royal Caribbean’s ships homeporting out of Brisbane’s new $158 million facility, offering cruisers an opportunity to travel locally along the Australian coast and the South Pacific, in addition to a special voyage to New Zealand. 

The company saw significant growth in Brisbane, especially after the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney was booked out years in advance.

Gavin Smith, vice president and managing director for Royal Caribbean International, said the ship’s arrival in Brisbane is the beginning of a new benchmark for family holidays from Queensland and throughout Australia.

Quantum of the Seas
Photo credit: Graham Kemp/Google Maps

Royal Caribbean’s homeporting in Brisbane can be convenient for many families looking for a high-value winter break, since it can get through key ports faster. 

Located on the northern bank at the mouth of Brisbane River in Pinkenba, the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal is conveniently placed near the Brisbane Airport. Without traffic, driving to the cruise terminal from the airport only takes around 15 minutes.

This means travellers from South East Queensland won’t need to head to Sydney and spend extra going to the airport. They can simply go to the Luggage Point, park their car and head off.

Quantum of the Seas
Photo credit: Graham Kemp/Google Maps

The arrival of Quantum of the Seas to Brisbane earlier in November marks its first Australian season, following a summer program in Alaska. It is set to return for a second season in late 2023.

Read: Plans Unveiled For New Aeromedical Facility At Brisbane Airport

Quantum of the Seas is the lead ship of her class. When it was first put into service in 2014, the Quantum-class cruise ship was the third largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage.

One of its cutting-edge features includes the North Star, a capsule surrounded by windows, taking passengers over the edge for a 360-degree view of the open ocean. It also comes equipped with a lounge and entertainment venue, and virtual balconies.

Roadworks to Connect Incoming Cruise Ship Terminal Will Commence Early 2019

Close to $11 million worth of roadworks between Kingsford Smith Drive and Luggage Point to connect the incoming mega cruise ship terminal, to commence in March 2019.

Tenders for the road network upgrade have gone out early November and will close before Christmas. Lord mayor Graham Quirk indicated that half of the cost will be provided by the Council.

The project will involve raising very low flood-risk roads, widening other roads, and improving lighting and safety. Once completed, the project will allow buses and larger vehicles access to the network of roads to connect passengers with hotels and other destinations.

Opposition leader Peter Cumming stressed the importance of the new cruise ship terminal for Brisbane. They support the decision of the council to get involved in the Port of Brisbane’s project considering its impact on tourism. Queensland is Australia’s top cruise destination contributing around $1.1 billion to QLD’s economy whilst Brisbane ranks second to Sydney as the biggest cruise ship port.

Whilst the road upgrade was backed by Labor opposition, outspoken Greens Councillor Sri expressed disapproval over the project. Cr Sri was particularly concerned about the environmental impact of having more cruise ships in Moreton Bay. Independent councillor for Tennyson Nicole Johnston, on the other hand, questioned the council’s decision to fund the other half of the project.

South-East Queensland’s first mega cruise ship terminal

Video Credit: PortofBrisbanePtyLtd

The road network upgrade entails improvements to be done on Main Myrtletown Road, Priors Road, Bancroft Road, Brownlee Street, Main Beach Road and Marine Road at Pinkenba. Currently, cruise ships more than 270 metres in length berth at the Port of Brisbane’s Fisherman Island whilst smaller ships dock at Portside Wharf at Hamilton.

The new $158 million Brisbane International Cruise Terminal is expected to be completed by mid-2020 and is projected to generate almost $5 billion in economic value to QLD alone within a period of 15 years.