Red carpet ready to roll for Pearl passengers
  • Wednesday 19 August 2015
Pacific Pearl

Pests to be targeted to help the environment The first time was fantastic and the second time will be even bigger, better, brighter, friendlier and tastier! That’s our promise to passengers aboard the Pacific Pearl, who’ll come ashore again this Friday.

The Sunshine Coast received the highest visitor rating of any port in over seven years during the P&O cruise ship’s maiden stopover on July 18.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said despite the rave reviews, Sunshine Coast Council, local tourism operators and businesses are planning an even warmer welcome for the sold-out super liner’s 1800 passengers and crew this time around.

“Clearly the people who came here in July really enjoyed it and they really appreciated the warm welcome they got and I’d encourage Sunshine Coasters not to take it for granted – every cruise is another event and we need to make sure that the people coming this time have just as much fun as the people who did last time and into the future,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“One of the things we recognised was that we needed to provide more for our visitors at the end of the day as they were waiting to return to the ship.

“So there’ll be a lot more activity around the Wharf area - there’ll be free samples of great Sunshine Coast seafood thanks to Rockliff Seafoods and Buderim Ginger will also be providing some treats and there’ll be a lot more music and action to farewell people that will just see them leave on a really high note.

“You only maximise these new channels for tourism if you look after people, make sure they have a really good time and go away raving about what a great place the Sunshine Coast is.”

Head of Queensland Attractions James Thomas said Underwater World would open its doors an hour earlier than usual to accommodate passengers’ arrival on Friday.

“We received a really solid number of pre-bookings from aboard the cruise ship last time as well as passengers who came through on the day,” Mr Thomas said.

“By opening our doors an hour earlier this time at 9am we’ll be better prepared to accommodate more passengers who are arriving at the Wharf and walking by around this time of the morning.”

Sunshine Coast Destination Limited CEO Simon Ambrose said Friday’s passengers would be provided with more opportunities to maximise their day-long stopover.

“We’ll again hand out visitor ‘passports’ to passengers as they come ashore and they’ll include a souvenir draw-string bag for their shopping. There will also be better signage for people as they come ashore along with bigger and better markets in the car park at the Wharf,” Mr Ambrose said.

The Pacific Pearl is scheduled to drop anchor off Mooloolaba around 7.30am on Friday with the first passengers set to hit the Wharf around 8:30am.

Fast facts from Pacific Pearl’s July 18 visit:

  • Around 1700 passengers were ferried ashore, providing an estimated $250,000 boost to the local economy (approximate spend per passenger - $147)
  • Four x 57-seat busloads of passengers travelled to the Eumundi Markets & Buderim Ginger Factory
  • Two busloads of passengers visited Australia Zoo
  • 30 bookings aboard Whale One

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