The Fremantle Passenger Terminal, on Victoria Quay, is a building of cultural significance and your link to coastal and international cruising in the heart of Fremantle’s bustling commercial port.
The Passenger Terminal won the City of Fremantle and City of East Fremantle Heritage Award in 2011 for Conservation of a Heritage Place – Non Residential, and a commemorative booklet marking the 50th anniversary of the Passenger Terminal won a Commendation in the awards. Also in 2011, the terminal was a finalist in the Outstanding Non-residential Conservation category of the State Heritage Awards.
On occasions the Fremantle Passenger Terminal is not open to the public during cruise ship visits due to requests from cruise lines related to their security requirements and vessel operations. The Cruise Line (9430 3335) will advise if the Passenger Terminal is open or closed prior to each cruise vessel visit. The carpark will be available for short-term parking and picking up and dropping off of passengers.
The best places to see ships entering or leaving the harbour are on the western end of Victoria Quay (for example, near the B Shed Ferry Terminal, on the wharf side of A and B Sheds, or near the Maritime Museum) or on South or North moles. See the Fremantle map.
Following the Second World War, Fremantle remained a primary ‘gateway’ for immigrants and there was subsequently a growing pressure for a passenger terminal building to accommodate the services and activities associated with this major port function. More than 150,000 passengers passed through the Port of Fremantle annually in the years preceding the Passenger Terminal’s construction in 1960-1962, and for many of them the port was their first sight of Australia.
The first stage of the new Passenger Terminal was opened in December 1960 by Premier David Brand, while the second stage was completed in May 1962. The whole two-floor building is of steel-frame construction with concrete panels. The upper floor is timber parquetry. Western Australian hardwood timbers were used extensively in the interior and are complemented by four murals by artist Howard Taylor, featuring trees, animals and Western Australian birds and flowers.
The numbers of migrant ships and regular cruise line calls had ceased by the 1980s with the advent of the 747 jet aircraft, which made flying affordable and cruise shipping unviable. As a result, other uses for the eastern upper area were found; it was converted into a function centre prior to Australia’s defence of the America’s Cup in 1987. More recently, Fremantle Ports has introduced car processing to the ground-floor sheds. Since the 1980s, cruise ship calls have been predominately international vessels on world voyages. However, a resurgence in demand for cruising in recent years, has resulted in Fremantle being used as a seasonal turnaround port for a number of ships.
The terminal is a heritage-listed building, which means that any work done to maintain or develop the building should not diminish, destroy or conceal any of its significant elements. We aim to provide a comfortable and efficient service to our customers within this culturally significant building.
There is more information on the terminal's history here.
For a comprehensive guide to the terminal’s colourful history, read Fremantle Passenger Terminal 50 Years: Celebrating 50 years of arrivals and departures on Victoria Quay.