P&O Cruise’ Pacific Pearl could sail into PortlandHarbour as early as next week, bringing with it up to 1800 passengers.
The ship’s planned route was to arrive in Robe, South Australia, on Wednesday 23 April but, with inclement weather forecast, Portland has been listed as the contingency plan.
P&O have advised that they will make a decision on Tuesday as to whether they will by-pass Robe on Wednesday, en route from KangarooIsland, and call into Portland instead.
Glenelg Shire Council was notified of situation this morning (Thursday 17 April), with Port of Portland already confirming a berth would be available for the Pacific Pearl and that arrangements could be accommodated within the 24 hour advice time.
With such little notice to be given of a definite arrival, Mayor Cr John Northcott said Council’s first priority was in 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.
Last week P&O Cruises confirmed six visits to Portland as part of its 2015/16 cruise ship program and Cr Northcott said this new development was another chance to build on the relationship that was developing with this popular Australian company.