Cruise Whitsundays ready to expand

CRUISE Whitsundays will officially take over Fantasea's Whitsunday operations on July 17 with a number of announcements on issues such as day trip programs scheduled to be unveiled next week.

Cruise Whitsundays owner Chris Jacobs said the company was aiming for its entire operations to be based at Port of Airlie within about 18 months.

"We've purchased an additional parcel of land adjacent to what Fantasea had, which will enable us to put in a fuel facility and a bigger terminal than [what was originally] planned.

"It's going to be about 18 months away [and] in the interim we'll be operating primarily from Abel Point, but with some services from Shute Harbour," he said.

In addition to the boats already in the Cruise Whitsundays fleet, the company will purchase Fantasea's vessel 'Charmer' and lease the vessel 'Sunrise' for a period of one year. A decision has yet to be made about the future of Reefsleep, which Mr Jacobs said was currently under review.

Mr Jacobs confirmed the number of job vacancies had now climbed to about 60 positions.

"Certainly we've got a number of very good staff from Fantasea coming across to us, which is good," he said. An external information session about assistance programs available to Fantasea staff was hosted by IDEAL Placements, NEATO, Centrelink and Damian Plackett, the local area co-ordinator for the Department of Communities, on Tuesday night.


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