THE WHITSUNDAYS welcomed the debut arrival of the ‘Celebrity Eclipse’ cruise ship as it becomes the first ever cruise ship to arrive in port at Shute Harbour Marine Terminal.
On Wednesday, November 9, the Celebrity Eclipse carried 3,000 passengers and 1,500 crew members to port, who disembarked at the terminal and were greeted with live acoustic music, food vans and market stalls.
Safety officer Mr Harris said the guests and crew of the ‘Celebrity Eclipse’ were excited to be in the Whitsunday Region.
“We are very happy to experience and explore new places, it’s the very first time for our ships to be here, so it’s certainly an honour,” Mr Harris said.
“The feedback from the guests and the crew so far is that they are very happy to be on this side of the world.”
Passengers from the ‘Celebrity Eclipse’ were granted free transportation via boat and bus to and from the main Airlie Beach strip.
Mayor Julie Hall, along with Whitsunday Regional Council staff and councillors, attended the day to welcome members of the cruise ship.
The Shute Harbour Marine Terminal is wholly council owned.
Whitsunday Regional Council said they invested in expanding operations at the Shute Harbour Marine Terminal because of the economic drive of the tourism industry in the Whitsundays.
“It’s absolutely great to see Shute Harbour thriving again,” Mayor Julie Hall said.
“It’s really good to see people coming into the region again, and into Airlie Beach, supporting our small businesses, especially after the global pandemic, and helping us move forward economically.”
The Shute Harbour Marine Terminal recently won silver in the Tourism Retail and Hire Services category, at the Tourism Whitsundays Awards and, scored a bronze at the Queensland Tourism Awards, on the Gold Coast.
Whitsunday Regional Council’s Shute Harbour co-ordinator Shaun Cawood said the ship’s docking and transportation services at the new terminal went smoothly.
“It’s a magnificent facility that’s purpose built for cruise ships and larger tour formats,” Mr Cawood said. “The feedback we’ve received so far is that the bus services and the connection to Airlie Beach has really been seamless.”