Portland shapes up for cruise ship visits

WORKERS have less than six weeks to complete an overhaul of Portland harbour’s berthing area as the city prepares for its first cruise ship arrival.

German luxury liner MS Europa is scheduled to dock in Portland on March 8 as part of a 19-day voyage from Auckland to Sydney, via Adelaide.

More than 400 domestic and international guests will disembark for the overnight stopover as part of their $16,000 base rate journey, an anticipated economic boon for the city and surrounding towns.      

Premier Denis Napthine inspected work yesterday at the Lee Breakwater terminal,  which included an upgrade of the berth surface.

He said the average cruise liner passenger spent $200 per day at the regular stopovers.

“There’s no doubt this will be a shot in the arm for the local economy,” Dr Napthine told The Standard.

“This will generate significant business for the local shops, tour operators, smaller retailers. It has the potential to be one of the biggest trading days for Portland in a long time, so we’re all looking forward to their arrival.”

Passengers on the cruise liner pay ¤10,000 as a base rate (more than $A15,700,  although some deals are more expensive) for the 19-day cruise which starts at Auckland and takes in New Zealand’s east coast before cutting across the Tasman Sea to Hobart.

The liner then travels around Tasmania to Adelaide before returning along South Australia’s Limestone Coast to Portland. 

Following its south-west stopover, the cruise ship will travel overnight to Melbourne and terminate in Sydney.

Dr Napthine also inspected works on a four-lane boat ramp under construction at the Portland marina. 

The expansion is one of four projects in the $6.1 million Portland Harbour redevelopment, which includes the installation of a 70-berth floating marina, additional parking and the reclamation of land. 

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