The passengers were greeted by Queensland Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey, Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry and Tangalooma Island Resort Director David James, before heading off to experience the Island’s many attractions including dolphin feeding, canoeing and snorkelling. Passengers were also able to experience the spectacular Champagne Pools and Honeymoon Bay, sand-duning, quad bike tours and bird-watching.
The visit by the 1950-passenger Pacific Jewel was the first of six calls planned for Moreton Island in 2013 which are expected to inject more than $1 million into the local economy. The four-night P&O SeaBreaks featuring a visit to Moreton Island have already proven to be some of the most popular itineraries offered by the cruise line.
Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said she was thrilled to be introducing Australians to one of the undiscovered gems on Queensland’s coastline.
“Moreton Island is literally on our doorstep and we’re delighted to be giving close to 12,000 interstate visitors the opportunity to experience its beauty for the first time in 2013,” Ms Sherry said. “The response from our passengers has been overwhelmingly positive and I know they will return home to spread the word about what an exceptional discovery Moreton Island is.”
Queensland Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the creation of a new destination at Moreton Island showed it is “full steam ahead” for the cruise industry in Queensland, which is Australia’s second biggest cruise state, after New South Wales.
“The addition of Moreton Island to the Queensland cruise map is another win for the state’s economy,” Ms Stuckey said.
“The most recent available figures show that the cruise industry generated an estimated $590 million for the Queensland economy in 2011-12, including $336 million in direct expenditure.
“Cruising has been the fastest growing segment of the Queensland tourism market during the past year, and the Newman Government is happy to support innovative experiences like the P&O Cruises’visit to Moreton Island.”
Tangalooma Island Resort’s David James said tourism and business operators in the Moreton Bay and Islands group were excited to welcome P&O Cruises’ passengers to the region.
“We are thrilled to showcase Moreton Island’s spectacular natural beauty and leisure experiences to our P&O Cruises guests,” Mr James said.“No doubt, many will be surprised that a treasure like this exists so close to home.”