Eurobodalla Council’s tourism team is working with the NSW Ports Authority to establish a regular timetable of cruise ships visiting Batemans Bay.
Council’s Tourism Manager Meredith Wray said Batemans Bay was an appealing destination for smaller cruise ships, and the closest port to Canberra.
“NSW Ports Authority is working to attract cruise ships of no more than 1100 passengers, which also tend to be higher end,” she said.
“The expectation is that they’ll give our economy a boost by supporting local businesses while they’re here. It also puts Batemans Bay in visitors’ minds if they plan to return to Australia, or they might recommend it to friends and family.”
The waters will be tested at the end of this week with a visit from the MS Caledonian Sky. Up to 90 passengers and 78 crew members will arrive in Batemans Bay on tender boats as part of a three-week voyage along Australia’s east coast.
Above: MS Caledonian Sky: Refurbished in 2018 and at a length of 90 m the ship was recently awarded a ‘Star Performer – Top Ten’ rating in the 2018 Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Guide, The ship is on expedition from Papua New Guinea to Melbourne calling into Thursday Island & Cape York, Australia Piper Islands, Queensland Cape, Melville National Park, Lizard Island, Cooktown, Dunk Island & Hinchinbrook Island, Whitsundays, Great Keppel Island, Fraser Island, Newcastle for Hunter Valley, Batemans Bay, Wilsons Promontory and then to Melbourne before setting off via Tasmainia to cruise the coastline of New Zealand. Photo source
The passengers will have the opportunity to discover the area’s heritage and natural beauty with a tour to the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens and Mogo Village. Another small tour will visit Canberra.
“Some passengers will also come ashore to Batemans Bay and we encourage locals and businesses to make them feel welcome,” Dr Wray said.
“Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes and welcome ambassadors will meet and greet the passengers as they are ferried from the ship to the Murrah Mia jetty. They will also hand out information packs about the area.”
Another 450-passenger cruise ship, the MV Seabourn Sojourn, is expected to visit Batemans Bay in December.
Above: Seabourn Sojourn is a luxury cruise ship operated by Seabourn Cruise Line. It is very similar to Seabourn Odyssey. The ship was ordered for building in the shipyard of T. Mariotti S.p.A. in Genoa Italy. She is the flagship of Seabourn (photo and route sourced here)
“We’ll continue to work with the NSW Ports Authority to attract these opportunities to our shire, and we are working with the Batemans Bay Tourism and Business Chamber to identify ways to showcase Batemans Bay,” Dr Wray said.