Royal de­but for ship’s visit

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

AN EX­CHANGE of keys and ac­cep­tance of plaques marked the first visit for Royal Caribbean ship Leg­end of the Seas late Mon­day morn­ing.

The cruise ship pulled into Whit­sun­day wa­ters and made use of the Cruise Whit­sun­days Port of Air­lie ter­mi­nal for its pas­sen­gers’ jour­ney to land.

Af­ter about 1900 pas­sen­gers had dis­em­barked, the boat’s crew joined with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil and staff from Cruise Whit­sun­days for a spe­cial cer­e­mony wel­com­ing the ship to town.

The cer­e­mony was ad­dressed by Cruise Whit­sun­days CEO Nick Hor­tle and coun­cil’s deputy mayor An­drew Will­cox, both of whom beamed with pride.

“We want them to come back as of­ten as pos­si­ble,” Cr Will­cox said.

“We’ve got a long-term re­la­tion­ship with Royal Caribbean; they are a fan­tas­tic cruise com­pany,” Mr Hor­tle added.

“We like get­ting their guests on board, tak­ing them through our new ter­mi­nal and also hav­ing them out on our day tours.”

Cr Will­cox also ac­knowl­edged the self­less work of the cruise ship vol­un­teer am­bas­sadors who per­son­ally welcome ev­ery cruise ship and its guests to town.

Leg­end of the Seas ar­rived in Bris­bane on June 13 and called into Air­lie Beach and Cairns as part of her repo­si­tion­ing cruise to Sin­ga­pore.

She’ll re­turn in De­cem­ber, sail­ing a very sim­i­lar route to kick off her maiden Aus­tralian sea­son and Royal Ca- ribbean’s first ever sea­son sail­ing from Bris­bane.

“Leg­end of the Seas will bring more than $24 mil­lion into the Queens­land econ­omy in 2015 and 2016, in­clud­ing more than $20.6 mil­lion to Bris­bane dur­ing 17 turn­arounds, $1.5 mil­lion to Cairns and $1.5 mil­lion to Air­lie Beach dur­ing her five calls,” Royal Caribbean Aus­tralia com­mer­cial di­rec­tor Sean Treacy said.

For Leg­end of the Seas Cap­tain Arild Hansen it was his first time in Aus­tralia.

“It looks very beau­ti­ful so far,” he said.

Cruise Ship Vol­un­teer Am- bas­sador co-or­di­na­tor Brian Richard­son, said this was a busy week for his merry band when Sun Princess also ar­rived on Tues­day.

Sun Princess brought 1986 pas­sen­gers with 1600 head­ing into town and 360 on tours.

Another two cruise ships are due on June 23 and 29.

WARM WELCOME: Leg­end of the Seas was wel­comed to the Whit­sun­days this week.

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