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Terminal welcomes first cruise ship guests

By Mark Beale

THE new Cruise Whitsundays maritime terminal was even busier than usual last week, thanks to an influx of guests from a visiting cruise ship on Thursday, December 4.

Passengers and crew from Australia’s second highest rated cruise ship Celebrity Century were the first to use the terminal as an entry point to Airlie Beach, with the experience rated well by all involved.

Volunteer cruise ship ambassador Brian Richardson said of the ship’s 1765 passengers and roughly 650 crew, 1405 people visited Airlie Beach with 305 taking tours.

He said the feedback was “very similar to what we get at Abell Point”.

“They just appreciate having someone to give them a hand and point them in the right direction,” he said.

Shore excursions executive Nicole Stojic said the terminal was “excellent” and there were certainly no complaints.

“Everything went really well, we didn’t have any problems and it was a great day,” she said.

Port of Airlie marina manager Sean Quinn said from a logistical point of view the day ran smoothly and there were no issues with safe navigation to and from the port.

“We had MSQ (Maritime Safety Queensland) here today and they’re quite happy with the way things have gone – it’s been a very well uniformed delivery of passengers off the cruise ship into the terminal and a good concierge service once they’re here,” he said.

Cruise Whitsundays CEO Nick Hortle said it had been a big team effort to convince the cruise liners “that this is the best entry point for their passengers into Airlie Beach”.

“On the day that’s proven to be the case and we’re very thankful for their leap of faith in allowing this to happen,” he said.

The maritime terminal will welcome guests from its second cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas on Christmas Eve.

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