Cruise ship passengers enjoy a new maiden voyage to Norfolk Island
I am delighted that more than 1800 cruise ship passengers made history on Sunday, landing at Norfolk Island on the maiden voyages of the three new Passenger Transfer Vessels (PTV), and providing a significant boost to the local economy.
Wana (sea urchin), Hihi (periwinkle) and Nuffka (kingfisher), which can hold up to 90 people each, were used for the first time to transfer a total of 1,883 people from the cruise liner Pacific Explorer to Norfolk Island, and back, throughout the day.
The first day trip passengers arrived on Norfolk Island at about 7am, with the last passengers transferred back to the ship at 5pm.
The Australian Government funded the operations for this visit under a short-term agreement with Transam Argosy, who we thank for their efforts and planning which made the day a great success.
All three PTVs performed well, ensuring a smooth transfer operation.
Negotiations are under way on a longer term contractual arrangement for the operation and maintenance of the PTVs for future cruise ship visits.
There are 16 cruise ship visits scheduled for 2020 and, with the PTVs expected to support an increase in visits through more reliable transfers, we look forward to working with the local community and cruise line operators in encouraging growth of Norfolk Island tourism.
I am so pleased that cruise ships visiting Norfolk Island will provide an excellent opportunity to increase tourism, with benefits to local businesses and the economy.
The Australian Government invested $3.9 million in the PTVs as part of its commitment to support the Norfolk Island tourism sector and economic development.
Thank you to all of the volunteers and local businesses who helped to make this such a special experience for those that came on the cruise ship.