QUEENSLAND has become the port of choice for holidaymakers, attracting more cruise ships than any other Australian state last year.
A record 329 cruise ships visited the sunshine state in 2015-16 according to the Australian Cruise Association's Economic Impact Assessment of the Cruise Industry in Australia report.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the figures are set to grow in coming months, representing a boon to the state's economy.
"We attracted the most ships of any Australian state, proving once again, Queensland is a favoured location for these vessels to visit and build on our already record number of inbound travellers," Palaszczuk says.
"The 20 per cent increase shows we are already leading the nation in attracting these cruising holiday makers.
"Passenger numbers have already increased by more than 100,000 on the previous year to 776,000, contributing $256 million to the Queensland economy.
"Many of our ports will double the number of cruise ship arrivals over the next 12 months."
This includes Royal Caribbean's $1.3 billion mega-liner, Ovation of the Seas, which is set to become the largest cruise ship ever to be based in Australia when it arrives in Brisbane early next year.
Ovation of the Seas spans the length of three football fields and can accommodate 5000 guests and 1500 crew members.
P&O's Arcadia will also berth at the Port of Brisbane on February 22, bringing 7300 passengers to the city.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones says the cruise boom has bolstered a record year for Queensland tourism.
"Queensland offers cruise ships a wide variety of destinations to visit including Brisbane, our tropical islands and golden beaches and the Great Barrier Reef," Jones says.
"We know how vitally important it is to grow our tourism economy and create more jobs for Queenslanders."
Port of Brisbane had a 22 per cent increase with 148 calls, Cairns received 50 cruise ship visits while the Whitsundays had 43, Moreton Island 33, Port Douglas 29, Mooloolaba and Thursday Island both at seven, Gladstone four, Cooktown and Townsville three and Fraser Coast with two.
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