Sunshine Coast offers Azamara a calm port amidst Cyclone Debbie storm
Sunshine Coast’s port of Mooloolaba offered sunny skies and a warm welcome for 600 cruise passengers on board the Azamara, which made a surprise stopover (yesterday 27 March) after the ship was forced to re-jig its scheduled itinerary in the wake of Cyclone Debbie’s destructive path in north Queensland.
Originally scheduled to sail to the Whitsundays enroute to Singapore, passengers were able to enjoy perfect conditions on the Sunshine Coast, with Visit Sunshine Coast volunteers and staff co-ordinating tour activities for the passengers to explore the region.
The Whitsunday’s loss was estimated to provide a $250,000 gain to the Sunshine Coast’s tourism economy.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said a team of volunteers had quickly assembled to welcome the guests, and while the stopover was unscheduled, the passengers had been very thankful they were greeted so warmly.
“You’ve got to make hay while the sun shines,” Mr Latchford said.
“It provided a great opportunity for people from southern Australian cities, Asia, and Europe to have a look at what we offer on the Sunshine Coast, and they were very happy with what they experienced. Hopefully they will return for a longer visit in the future.
“It’s great for Mooloolaba, which has gone out of its way to establish itself as an attractive port for cruise vessels over the past few years.”