Wildlife welcome for cruise ships

CRUISE ships are back with the first in over two years berthed in Hobart last week. Destination Southern Tasmania CEO Alex Heroys said the first of 69 port calls – the Pacific Explorer –signalled an exciting return to normality and economic activity for Hobart and the regions such as the Derwent Valley.

“The first ship, the Pacific Explorer, will arrive from Sydney on Wednesday,” Mr Heroys said speaking at Brighton’s Bonorong Sanctuary. “This coming cruise season, Hobart will host some 150,000 passengers and 50,000 crew members. “Our members are excited and ready to welcome these passengers and show off our city and region.

“Many of the passengers will get out and about and explore our regional areas. “There will be 21 overnight visits to Hobart this year, further boosting restaurant and pub revenue. There will also be 24 ships docking at Port Arthur.”

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Director Greg Irons said the sanctuary enjoyed welcoming back to Tasmanian shores cruise ship passengers. “As a positive-impact tourism business, the return of cruise ship visitors is a fundamental component of recovery post-Covid,” Mr Irons said.

“The strength of our forward bookings from this tourism segment reflects the global trend in a deeper interest in the environment, wildlife and sustainability.

“The international reach for inspiring changes in behaviours that help wildlife and their habitat is an outcome from such a broad global visitor base.

“Showcasing Tasmania to the world is an opportunity from cruise ship visitation that we are proud to be part of, alongside all other tourism operators who work daily to spread the word of our stunning state.”