Murray River paddleboat tourism steams ahead

More tourists will experience the beauty of the Murray River following a series of upgrades to the local paddlesteamer fleet.

Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said the new and improved PS Emmylou will now be able to take more people up and down the Murray River, showcasing more of the river’s beauty than ever before.

“Paddlesteamers are a luxurious way to see our gorgeous countryside and we hope more people will make the trip from Sydney and Melbourne to experience the beauty of the Murray River,” said Mr Drum.

“This project will help cement the river as a leading tourist destination, with the development of a tourism engagement plan to link into existing attractions and a feasibility study funded to help design and create a new locally built paddle steamer.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $200,000 investment will support dozens of jobs in the region.

“This project has already supported 13 jobs for local shipbuilders and tradespeople and is expected to support another 10 ongoing jobs within the tourism, hospitality and ship maintenance industries,” Mr McCormack said.

“This project will encourage visitors to stay longer and experience more of what this fantastic region has to offer, from historical attractions to artisan food and wineries.”

Director of Australian Paddlesteamers Craig Burgess said the relaunch of PS Emmylou with contemporary designer cabins are in line with what international and domestic guests are demanding.

“River cruising is the fastest-growing travel segment in the world and the Upper Murray River can now be part of this growth story,” Mr Burgess said.

“Initial interest in our new three and four-night cruises has been very strong and we are now scheduling more of these cruises during 2019 than planned, which will mean more full-time roles created.”

The project was jointly funded with the Australian Government and Australian Paddlesteamers Pty Ltd, investing $200,000 each.