Coast makes a splash with P&O passengers
  • Wednesday 05 August 2015

“What a beautiful place, lots to do there. We plan to go back there for a longer stay” – These were just some of the superlatives that passengers aboard the Pacific Pearl used to describe their Sunshine Coast stopover on July 18.

David Jones, Corporate Communications Manager for Carnival Australia which operates P&O Cruises, said the Coast earned a top rung passenger experience score for the superliner’s visit.

“We encourage our passengers to provide feedback on their experiences at our many destination calls and the Sunshine Coast received one of the best reviews among all of the ports where our ships come alongside or anchor in Australia and the South Pacific,” Mr Jones said.

“Our passengers have clearly responded to the warmth and depth of the welcome they received from the Sunshine Coast community, right from Mayor Mark Jamieson greeting them as they came ashore, to the community in general saying 'welcome' and local businesses treating them like royalty.

“This is also real credit to Sunshine Coast Council whose active support and encouragement especially in relation to logistics in passenger tendering operation that made the Pacific Pearl’s such a success.”

Mayor Jamieson said the local community was looking forward to welcoming the Pacific Pearl again in just over two weeks.

“Local businesses and tourism groups certainly pulled out all stops to ensure Pacific Pearl passengers enjoyed a fantastic first up experience on the Sunshine Coast and everyone is excited and ready to make the next visit even better,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“To receive such positive feedback from passengers is a real feather in the cap for our local community. It’s wonderful recognition for the reputation of our region and it certainly strengthens our chances of having more cruise ships stopover here in the future.”

The Pacific Pearl is scheduled to make a second Sunshine Coast stopover on Saturday, August 21. Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) CEO, Simon Ambrose, said the learnings from the first visit would help make future visits even more successful.

“We were very pleased that the destination lived up to its name and received positive feedback from this first brief – but action-packed – visit,” Mr Ambrose said.

“The warm welcome that passengers received reflected the community’s genuine enthusiasm for attracting more cruise ships to the Sunshine Coast and it gave us a great opportunity to provide a taste of what’s on offer.

“For future visits, we will provide additional signage to guide visitor flow to tours or to the Esplanade. We’ll have more information on board prior to arrival and change the location of the markets.

“We encourage Mooloolaba businesses to roll out the red carpet and make a special effort for the passengers. We look forward to becoming a regular stop-over destination for cruise ships in the future.”

Two more cruise ship visits are planned for this year and up to a dozen more could be on the cards for 2016.