Geraldton’s reputation with cruise ship passengers as a ‘beautiful, clean, tidy andfriendly place to visit’ is here to stay, if last week’s feedback is anything to go by.
Local retailers are pretty happy too, citing the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship visit on March 21 as the best yet. About 2000 passengers came ashore and hit the shops.
And building on that solid foundation Geraldton will be a chosen port of call for four visits by P&O Cruises’ 70,000 tonne superliner Pacific Jewel between March and May 2015.
P&O Cruises announced on Monday that it will base the cruise liner in Fremantle for a season of cruises to Indonesia, Asia and Western Australian ports including Geraldton, providing a multi-million dollar economic boost for the state.
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor, Ian Carpenter, said it was good news and Geraldton should be proud.
“We do have a lovely clean city, a diverse range of shops and tourists consistently comment on this, so it’s no surprise P&O would choose Geraldton as a cruise destination,” he said.
Local food provedore, Culinary HQ said they had the best business day of the year; and pearl jewellery retailer Chimere Pearls claimed it was the best cruise visit yet, with a number of visitors snapping up pendants depicting Geraldton’s icons as people were looking to go home with something local. Some local retailers reported the same surge in sales and commented how nice it was to see the City so busy.
Apart from the retail side of things, most passengers from the Radiance of the Seas listed the highlight of their visit as HMAS Sydney II Memorial followed closely by the WA Museum – Geraldton.
“It was pleasing to see so many people visit and appreciate our Memorial of National Significance,” said Mr Carpenter.
“The visitors also commented on how friendly our volunteers and people in general are, and many said they would like to return for a longer stay in our fair city.”
“The City is keen to explore the introduction of more tours and possibly a return of the free shuttle bus to the Sydney memorial depending on cruise ship feedback from management.
“However, judging by the feedback we are getting it right and showcasing the best the City has to offer to the rest of Australia and wider,” he said.
A dedicated Cruise Ship and Visitor Information Officer is funded by the City of Greater Geraldton and the Geraldton Port Authority to ensure visitors have a memorable experience; and also works behind the scenes to attract more cruise ships to the City.