The cruiseliner Funchal is scheduled to dock in Bunbury on Sunday, March 19 as a result of a push to secure a slice of Australia’s $220million a year cruise shipping industry.
“Traditionally, cruise ship tourists sample a destination and are likely to then become repeat visitors,” South-West Minister Norm Marlborough said today.
“That is why the State Government, through the South West Development Commission, is working in partnership with the City of Bunbury, Australia’s South-West and the Chamber of Commerce to create a meaningful experience for the visitors.”
The 500 passengers aboard the Funchal will be welcomed at the Outer Harbour under a marquee by the Bunbury High School band. The Bunbury Visitors Centre and a team of volunteers will provide information and personally meet and greet the ship’s visitors.
A local tour operator will be offering an eco-wine tour to Wellington Mills and the Ferguson Valley, and the Bunbury tram will be providing one-hour city highlights tours.
The Fremantle-based ship last docked in Esperance and is bound for Fremantle. It will have completed a round-Australia trip, picking up and dropping off passengers along the way.
The Funchal is the third cruise ship to visit Bunbury after the Pacific Princess docked in October 2005 and the Superstar Virgo visited in May 2003.
Mr Marlborough said the South West Development Commission, together with Tourism WA, Australia’s South-West, the City of Bunbury, Bunbury Port Authority and the Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industries had been behind the push to capture some of the national cruise ship trade, and another two vessels were scheduled to visit this year.
“This is a great demonstration of a working partnership with a number of agencies and organisations in Bunbury,” the Minister said.
“Many regional centres in Western Australia - including Albany, Broome, Exmouth and Geraldton - are already enjoying the economic benefits these ships bring, so I welcome the extra arrivals in Bunbury.”
The remaining visits are: Dawn Princess, November 26 and Pacific Sky, November 29.
Minister's office: (08) 9213 6500