FANTASEA BOWS OUT
FANTASEA Adventure Cruising will bow out from the Whitsundays having agreed to sell its tourism operations here to Cruise Whitsundays, effective from June 29, subject to contractual conditions.
In a letter sent out yesterday, Fantasea Adventure Cruising general manager Matt Lloyd said Fantasea would continue to operate its daily scheduled cruises to Reefworld, Whitehaven Beach and the Hamilton Island ferry services until an operational changeover can be implemented on or before July 16.
Cruise Whitsundays will take over Fantasea's rights to service Hamilton Island, the two Reefworld platforms at Hardy Reef, the vessel Charmer, and the land and marina holdings at Port of Airlie.
The Fantasea brand will continue to operate elsewhere, including Sydney, Palm Beach Ferries and the Townsville Magnetic Island ferry service.
Cruise Whitsundays owners Chris Jacobs and Roger Dold said they were delighted with the acquisition.
"We have steadily built our presence in the Whitsundays but it has been a struggle to get the business to its full potential. With the additional passengers and services we have acquired from Fantasea, the economics of the business will be stronger and will allow us to focus on growth and innovation in these challenging times," Mr Jacobs said.
"We can now look forward to a significant partnership with the whole region. The Whitsundays will be the winner here."
Hamilton Island's chief executive Glen Bourke said the island had been consulted throughout the process and was fully supportive of the move.
Fantasea Cruises has won a number of regional, state and national tourism awards and was the only Queensland operator to win an award at the 2011 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
Mr Lloyd thanked Fantasea agents and suppliers for the support that has been extended to the business.