Industry Facts

There are approximately 1,500 commercial vessel operators identified throughout the State, operating approximately 2,000 vessels. 300 of these vessels operate on Sydney Harbour and are those of larger size. Fleet sizes vary, from Captains Cook Cruises’ fleet of 20, to “mum and dad” businesses that operate one vessel.

About one third of these are based in the Sydney Metropolitan area, another 80 in the greater Sydney area, including Hawkesbury River and Brisbane Waters, and the balance throughout the State, mostly, but not exclusively, on the coast. There are some, for example, on the Murray River.

The 2,000 vessels operating in New South Wales have an average capital value of $200,000 although some, of course, are worth millions and others less. They include cruise vessels, ferries, drive-yourself vessels, fishing vessels, houseboats, dive vessels, jet boats, work boats and tugs.

Two million passengers per annum are carried on Sydney Harbour and more than double that number on vessels throughout the State. The total turnover of the industry is estimated to be around $600 million pa.