The longest cruise ship to ever visit the Port of Newcastle will return this morning as the cruise season gets underway.
The 293-metre 'Radiance of the Seas' is expected in the port before 8:00am (AEDT), and is the first of 10 cruise ships scheduled for Newcastle over the next six months.
The Port Corporation's new CEO Grant Gilfillan says that record is expected to be broken in March next year when the 317-metre 'Celebrity Solstice' makes its maiden voyage to Newcastle port.
He says this year's cruise season is expected to inject $10 million dollars into the region's economy.
"It's always exciting seeing cruise ships come into a harbour," he said.
"For Newcastle doubly so because the foreshore is so close to where the ships go by.
"So this morning we'll be seeing 'Radiance of the Seas' coming through with about 2,500 passengers on board of which, I believe, about 1,000 are Canadian so that will be an interesting, and I'm sure an exciting, visit to the Hunter Valley."
Mr Gilfillan says overseas tourists are increasingly choosing Australia as a holiday destination.
"It's a safe place, an interesting place," he said.
"These types of cruises - around the world voyages or passengers coming from other countries - are the ones that inject the most into the local economy.
"We understand from work that Cruise Down Under have done that $10 million will be directly injected into the Newcastle and Hunter economy in this season from these cruises."