THE cruise ship MS Europa 2 will return to Portland in 2017.
At the high-end ship’s itinerary-planning meeting in Germany in July, Portland’s “very enthusiastic welcome” was listed as the main reason for liner company Hapag-Lloyd booking a return to the Port of Portland.
Corporate communications manager Moritz Krause said Portland had been remembered by its first visitors as an exciting cruise destination, with access to major tourist attractions in Australia.
Cruise ship company P&O has also confirmed six vessels are scheduled to arrive in Portland for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Glenelg Shire mayor Cr John Northcott said council staff and volunteers had worked hard to ensure the success of the first visit.
“We are also working to identify ways the next visit can be even better,” he said. “We can only take the re-booking of the Ms Europa as huge praise for the community and the work put in by everyone to ensure our visitors enjoyed their stay.
“Positive comments regarding the preparation of open spaces and entrances to Portland were received before, during and after the MS Europa visit.
“Factors that were reported by council staff for improvement included the flow of information between agents, the limited space at the visitor information centre for large gatherings, such as the welcome to country, and demand on public facilities, which resulted in periods where cleanliness could be improved.”
A “conservative” estimate by the Glenelg Shire puts the direct financial benefit on the day at $150,000, as well as another $10,000 in business spending on the days surrounding the region’s first visit from a cruise ship.