More Ships Set to Cruise into Geographe Bay

Published on Wednesday, 19 February 2020 at 9:53:00 AM

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to the re-routing of several cruise liners previously scheduled to visit some Asian destinations as part of their tour itinerary. As a consequence the City of Busselton has received a surge in the number of ships booked to visit the South West region over the current and next cruising season.

The City has received 11 additional cruise ship bookings for this and the next financial year with more enquires continuing to be received. Confirmed cruise ship bookings with the City of Busselton currently stand at 12 ships for the 2019/20 financial year and 22 ships for the 2020/21 financial year.

City of Busselton Mayor, Grant Henley said that while the situation with the Coronavirus is very worrying and this is certainly bad luck for many Asian-based ports, the outcome is an obvious windfall for the City of Busselton.

“The economic returns to the region associated with these additional 11 vessels is significant. We’re talking about millions of dollars of passenger spends at wineries, local shops, restaurants, cafes and tourist hot-spots. Being included on the itineraries of these additional cruise ships also exposes the South West region to thousands more travellers from across the country and the world. With regular passenger flights into Busselton set to commence next month, this can only be a good thing.”

Excitedly the City will now receive a visit from both the Queen Elizabeth (a new booking for April this year) and the Queen Mary 2 (pre-scheduled for March this year). These are two of the largest and most luxurious ships currently on the cruising circuit. To receive a visit from both ships is an excellent outcome. As a result of this rescheduling, several new liners will make maiden visits to Geographe Bay including the Explorer Dream and the Sapphire Princess which has also booked to return on 7 separate visits.

Such will be the demand for assistance over the coming cruising seasons, the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association who coordinates the Cruise Passenger Attendant Volunteer programme, is looking to recruit new volunteers.

Visitor Centre Site Manager Karen Harrison said: “We are looking for new Cruise Passenger Attendant Volunteers to meet, greet, welcome, survey, inform and orientate cruise ship passengers as they arrive at Busselton Foreshore. This is a fabulous way to meet people from all over the world, as well as meeting and making friendships with likeminded locals volunteering. To become part of the volunteer team please contact Karen Harrison on karen.harrison@margaretriver.com or in person at the Busselton Visitor Centre.

The Objectives outlined in this media release are aligned to Key Goal Area 4 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (Review 2019): Our economy is diverse, robust and prosperous.

Media enquiries can be directed to the City’s Public Relations Coordinator, Meredith Dixon on 97810446 or meredith.dixon@busselton.wa.gov.au

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