Di­a­mond Port visit

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Jessie Tol­son

THE grand ocean liner Di­a­mond Princess vis­ited Port Dou­glas on Tues­day for one of only a hand­ful of stops in Aus­tralia.

The Di­a­mond Princess - of­ten re­ferred to as a city at sea - holds 2700 pas­sen­gers and a crew of 2000 and is re­garded as the ul­ti­mate in lux­ury and one of the largest ships sail­ing the Pa­cific.

Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Doug Ryan said the ar­rival of the Di­a­mond Princess was one of at least 26 ships headed to Port Dou­glas in 2013.

‘‘This is the ul­ti­mate lux­ury of­fer­ing ev­ery en­ter­tain­ment, dis­trac­tion and amenity cruis­ers have come to ex­pect from ships of this size,’’ Mr Ryan said.

‘‘The cruise ship mar­ket pro­vides an im­por­tant boost to our lo­cal econ­omy.

‘‘Cruise ships are ex­tremely im­por­tant, there is an av­er­age of 2000 peo­ple per ship plus crew, which in­jects around $22 mil­lion an­nu­ally into the lo­cal econ­omy.

‘‘Our am­bas­sadors en­sure that when cruise ships ar­rive in Port Dou­glas, they are greeted by a friendly face and a depth of lo­cal knowl­edge so that they can get the most out of their visit.’’

Last year, Port Dou­glas was recog­nised a one of Queens­land’s lead­ing ports in an in­de­pen­dent au­dit com­mis­sioned by Tourism Queens­land.

Mr Ryan said the re­sult of the au­dit was a great out­come for Port Dou­glas.

‘‘When you have 2000 pas­sen­gers dis­em­bark­ing and vis­it­ing for such a short time, there is only a lim­ited win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to make their stay mem­o­rable,’’ he said.

Di­a­mond Princess pas­sen­ger Deb­bie Bartholomew, from New South Wales, said the wel­come re­cieved when they came off the boat was won­der­ful.

‘‘Ev­ery­one is really friendly in Port Dou­glas, I love it here,’’ she said. ‘‘The weather has cleared up nicely which makes it even bet­ter.’’

Pic­ture: JESSIE TOL­SON

CITY ON THE SEA: the Di­a­mond Princess as seen from Rex Smeal Park on Tues­day

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