BUNDABERG FIRST: Luxury cruise ship sails into port
IN A first for Bundaberg, and three years in the making, a 338-foot luxury cruise ship will sail into our port on Saturday.
The Silversea line ship Silver Discoverer will enter Australian waters at the Port of Bundaberg, making its way from Port Villa.
The ship is expected to arrive about 9.30am for the quick stop over allowing the 50 or so guests to visit some of Bundaberg's hot spots.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the ship's arrival was a win for Bundaberg.
Ms Jones said the arrival of Silver Discoverer signified the start of a new period of prosperity for Bundaberg's tourism industry.
"Cruise ships are big business for Queensland. In 2016-17 this industry generated $590 million for our economy," Ms Jones said.
"That's why we're working hard to grow this sector in Bundaberg in years to come.
"With great infrastructure, natural beauty and iconic Queensland attractions, Bundaberg is an ideal cruising destination."
The government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, has worked with Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism, the Port of Bundaberg and local tourism operators over the past three years to ensure the region is set up to accept cruise ship visitors and to showcase Bundaberg's globally renowned distilleries, breweries and heritage buildings, Ms Jones said.
Cruise ship visitors will be able to choose from two tours offered as part of the ship's touring itinerary - 'The Bundaberg Experience' including tours of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, Bargara Brewing Co. and boutique distillery Kalki Moon, or the 'Bundaberg Heritage Tour' taking in the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, Botanic Gardens and high tea at the Fairymead House and Sugar History Museum.
"This region welcomed more than two million visitors last year and tourism generated $1.1 billion for the local economy - that's three per cent growth under our government," Ms Jones said.
Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism General Manager Katherine Reid said the town was looking forward to extending a warm Bundaberg welcome to the Silversea guests and crew for their short time in Port.
"This presents a great opportunity for our region and its tourism ambassadors to shine and give a small taste of what the Bundaberg region, on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, has to offer the expedition cruise market," Ms Reid said.
The Silver Discoverer will be leaving the Port of Bundaberg no later than 8pm on Saturday.