Queen El­iz­a­beth draws a crowd

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

THE world’s sec­ond-largest lux­ury ocean liner sailed into Port Dou­glas wa­ters on Sun­day night for a one-day stopover which in­jected some life into busi­nesses that tar­geted the well-heeled pas­sen­gers.

While op­er­a­tions like Quick­sil­ver which sells its tours through the on­board tour desk scooped a pri­vate char­ter for 380 pas­sen­gers for a trip to the outer reef tai­lored to meet the Queen El­iz­a­beth ten­der times, tour desks re­ported lit­tle ex­tra busi­ness as lo­cal day trips leave too early to take vis­it­ing cruise pas­sen­gers and get back too late.

Tour op­er­a­tor Skysa­fari fared bet­ter, pick­ing up 20 pas­sen­gers for scenic flights to the reef and the rain­for­est af­ter set­ting up their desk at the ma­rina to greet in­com­ing pas­sen­gers.

Owner Za Har­richa­ran said Skysa­fari does not sell through the on­board tour desk of cruise ships which de­mand a 30 per cent com­mis­sion but no­ticed the Queen El­iz­a­beth pas­sen­gers were “worldly”.

“There were French, Ital­ians, English, Aus­tralians and Amer­i­cans,” she said.

“We had both our air­craft up and more of the pas­sen­gers were tak­ing our top tours com­pared with mostly joy flights for some other cruise ships.”

Shop­keep­ers along Macrossan St re­ported an in­crease in the num­ber of vis­i­tors cruis­ing the street but lit­tle in­crease in trade.

Port Dou­glas Opal and Jew­ellery Cen­tre owner Con Ret­sas said there were plenty of pas­sen­gers brows­ing around.

“But few came in to buy - I think it’s a sign of the times,” he said.

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