Cruise ships help boost economy
IT HAS been a busy year for cruise ship ambassadors and is set to get even busier with two cruise ships to visit the region on Tuesday, December 13.
Rhapsody of the Sea will arrive at Abel Point Marina and Diamond Princess at Shute Harbour and will bring with them almost 5000 passengers between them.
It will be the first time two cruise ships have visited the region on the same day.
Cruise ship ambassador Judi Dunn said the visitors would be an added boost to the region's economy.
"It will be a huge day for the town," she said.
Ocean Princess visited the Whitsundays on Tuesday and although it was the smallest cruise ship to visit the region this year, 570 passengers came off the ship.
A total of 128 people booked tours while the others visited Airlie Beach.
"All of the passengers were international with a lot of them being Americans, Canadians, British and European," Mrs Dunn said.
"A large number commented that Airlie was the cleanest town they had visited on the cruise and [that] Australians are the most friendly."
Passengers on board the cruise ship were on a 48-night cruise from Rome to Sydney and have visited countries such as Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Dubai, India, Singapore and Bali.
"A large number said they would like to return to see more of the area," Mrs Dunn said.
"Everyone took a holiday planner with them."
A second double up of cruise ships on the same day will be on March 20 when Ocean Princess and Diamond Princess will bring about 3000 people to town.
"The schedule for next year is looking very full already with 36 [cruise ships] noted," Mrs Dunn said.