FANTASEA Adventure Cruising will be operating directly from the Port of Airlie within the next 18 months.
Although many residents in the region were aware of the move, Fantasea and Meridien Marinas only officially made the announcement this week.
The relocation will see the Fantasea fleet based at Airlie Beach, giving holiday makers a more direct route from the islands to Airlie.
Fantasea's General Manager, Michelle Rynne believes this move will help bring greater exposure for the region.
“It means that we're coming right into the heart of Airlie Beach with a direct link to Hamilton Island,” she said.
“This will hopefully bring a greater number of people to Airlie Beach to expose the islands and the Great Barrier Reef.”
Meridien's North Queensland Sales Manager Andrew Forster was on-site to welcome Fantasea to the Marina as the fleet's ‘Dreamer' cruise vessel entered the port for a test run on Tuesday morning.
“This is great news for the port and all of Airlie Beach,” he said.
“Having Fantasea here will bring a huge number of tourists through the marina which will see great benefits for the town.
“We want Airlie Beach to have a world-class marina – something they can really be proud of so everyone can share the port and the business it brings.”
Construction for the new integrated ferry and bus terminal will start later this year and will be used by about 450,000 people who Fantasea take cruising annually.
Meanwhile, Cruise Whitsundays will remain based at Abel Point marina.
Buses will travel regularly to Abel Point as of next week, when Whitsundays Transit's new timetable comes into effect.
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