Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Ship Aria Will Sail to Paradise; Cruise Liner to Stop in Fraser Coast Waters

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Ship Aria Will Sail to Paradise; Cruise Liner to Stop in Fraser Coast Waters

Article excerpt

Byline: Hayden Johnson

THE Fraser Coast has cracked the lucrative cruise market, with P&O's Pacific Aria to stop at Fraser Island twice next year.

The Chronicle can reveal P&O ships will make two trips to Kingfisher Bay Resort next year and five in 2017.

The 55,000 tonne Pacific Aria will arrive to the World Heritage Listed island on a round trip from Brisbane on April 3 and from Sydney on December 12, 2016.

A maximum of 1400 passengers will be treated to "some of the world's most magnificent scenery" on Fraser Island.

The ship is expected to spend one day anchored in the deep channel off Kingfisher Bay Resort.

After four years of work Fraser Coast tourism councillor Stuart Taylor was ecstatic at hearing the announcement.

Cr Taylor praised the "team effort" of Tourism and Events Queensland, Fraser Coast Opportunities and the Fraser Coast Regional Council for luring the Pacific Aria.

After almost four years of representations and reports, Cr Taylor was overjoyed the work had paid off with the ships to berth in the Great Sandy Strait.

In his first tourism report in 2012, Cr Taylor questioned the council on how the Fraser Coast could enter the rapidly growing but competitive cruise market.

Cr Taylor also predicted the Aria's voyage would be the first of many.

"Once ships start to see the benefit of our product I think you'll start to see more," he said.

"I don't think there's anywhere that can compete with the variety of our product.

"Think about what we've got - culture in Maryborough, the calm waters of Hervey Bay the Great Sandy Strait, turtles, dugongs and of course whales - it's an incredible place."

Carnival Australia chief executive officer Ann Sherry was excited to take passengers to paradise.

"Fraser Island's Indigenous inhabitants gave their island home a name that means paradise, and our cruise passengers will have the opportunity to discover this for themselves," she said. …

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