Cruising Jewel to visit the Sunshine Coast
  • Tuesday 15 March 2016
Pacific Jewel

A cruise ship new to the Sunshine Coast will visit the region on Saturday as the third leg of a spectacular start to March for Mooloolaba and Coast tourism.

The Pacific Jewel, part of P&O Cruises, will anchor off Pt Cartwright and allow an expected 1950 passengers to experience all the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

The stop is a highlight of a seven-day cruise, which leaves from Sydney on Thursday, and follows on from the highly successful Today show live telecast from Mooloolaba Beach, which attracted more than 1.5 million viewers, last week and the staging of the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival at the weekend.

The Pacific Jewel’s passengers will receive a welcome to the Coast at the Wharf markets before heading out to explore the region’s attractions including Australia Zoo and Eumundi markets.

Tourism ambassadors will provide them with Official Visitor Guides and The World is Coming events supplement, while Sunshine Coast TAFE students will be stationed along the Mooloolaba Esplanade with specially branded surfboards for unique photo opportunities.

Sunshine Coast Council CEO Michael Whittaker said the cruise ship stopovers were fantastic for Coast businesses, generating up to $300,000 in local spend for each visit.

“I’m sure there will be passengers on the Pacific Jewel who were amongst the more than one-and-a-half million viewers who tuned in to the Today show last Thursday morning and thought ‘I can’t wait to see the Sunshine Coast in person’,” Mr Whittaker said.

“They come here looking for a great experience and that is what our businesses, tourist operators and friendly residents provide as the overwhelmingly positive passenger surveys show.

“Our reputation and profile as a cruise ship destination is growing and we’re looking forward to welcoming the Pacific Jewel for the first time.”

Fraser Green, the managing director of Sundaze Swimwear, which has two outlets in Mooloolaba and one in Cotton Tree, said the stores would have extra staffing in place for Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to another day of extra patronage and business thanks to the Pacific Jewel,” Mr Green said.

“The previous cruise ship visits have been good for business with plenty of positive feedback.

“We’ll be opening earlier to cater for those first passengers who come ashore and will increase our staffing from a normal Saturday to look after them.”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Ambrose said cruising was the fastest growing tourism sector in Australia which is why Visit Sunshine Coast, in association with council, was making it a priority in our future tourism strategy.

“Australian cities across the country are trying to win more cruises to their ports because of the economic value to local businesses,” Mr Ambrose said.

“It is important that the welcome shown to past cruises continues, as all the research highlights that passengers who have a pleasurable experience during a stopover are likely to return to the destination for a longer, dedicated visit in the future.

“Visit Sunshine Coast is actively involving itself in the growth sector, working with Tourism Events Queensland on a cruise development plan to capitalise on the potential.

“The Sunshine Coast is a member of the Australian Cruise Association and has been represented at the world’s premier cruise industry event – Sea Trade Cruise – this month in the USA.

“We will also be represented at Cruise3Sixty in Sydney and the Brisbane Cruise Forum, which will be held in May.”

Another six Sunshine Coast stopovers are scheduled for 2016:

  • May 11 – Pacific Jewel
  • June 15 – Pacific Aria
  • June 27 – Pacific Jewel
  • August 10 – Pacific Jewel
  • August 16 – Carnival Spirit
  • September 4– Pacific Pearl