P&O Cruise could bring 1800 to Portland next week

UP to 1800 passengers could flood Portland next week with the arrival of P&O Cruise’ Pacific Pearl.

The ship’s planned route was to arrive in Robe, South Australia, on Wednesday 23 April but an inclement weather forecast has listed Portland as the contingency plan.

P&O has advised it will make a decision on Tuesday as to whether they will by-pass Robe on Wednesday, en route from Kangaroo Island, and call into Portland instead.

Glenelg Shire Council was notified of situation on Thursday morning, with Port of Portland already confirming a berth would be available for the Pacific Pearl, with arrangements accommodated within the 24 hour advice time.

With such little notice to be given of a definite arrival, shire mayor John Northcott said the council’s first priority was ensuring businesses, shop owners and community members were fully aware of the possibility that the cruise ship could arrive.

“As we saw with the MS Europa in March, cruise ships bring with them a wealth of tourism opportunity and benefits,” he said.

“This is not only the chance to showcase Portland to a new group of people, some who may never have heard of Portland, but the expected economic spin-off from a cruise ship in the city for just one day is expected to be about $500,000.

“It’s essential that we give businesses every chance to capitalise on this opportunity and that we can again represent the region as the best it can be.”

Tourism operators with suggested activities for this potential cruise ship arrival are urged to contact the Portland Visitor Information Centre on 1800 035 567.

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