(10:05 a.m AEST) — In the lead-up to the first-ever cruise ship arrival in Gladstone next year, plans are underway to ensure cruise passengers have the best possible experience in the Queensland town.
In March 2016, P&O Cruises will become the first line to call at the Queensland town, as part of its Southern Barrier Reef Discovery itinerary. Pacific Jewel is scheduled to visit three times in the 2015/16 season.
The Gladstone Area Promotion Development Ltd (GAPDL) Cruise Liner Forum recently held an open forum and invited the community to get involved in the preparations.
Speaking to Cruise Critic, GAPDL chief executive Darryl Branthwaite revealed plans to take passengers to attractions such as the Discovery Coast, the historic town of 1770, the botanic gardens and the “pristine” southern reef, which is a 1.5-hour boat ride from town.
Pacific Jewel will dock at Auckland Point where the redeveloped port will heighten the experience for passengers, according to Branthwaite.
“Everyone will be able to step right off the ship and into the brand new $47 million East Shores Precinct, which has a water park and lots of entertainment, an eat street, as well as stalls and markets,” he said.
In addition, there are plans to offer those disembarking at Gladstone a free shuttle bus service that will call at a number of points of interest.
“The experience passengers will have will be something they take away for a lifetime,” Branthwaite promised.
A further four cruise ship calls are expected in 2017. “We’re hoping to increase that number, of course,” he added.
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