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