Kangaroo Island welcomes cruise ships

Pacific Pearl cruise ship at Penneshaw last week.
Pacific Pearl cruise ship at Penneshaw last week.

“...best day trip I’ve been on, people were wonderful and doing such a wonderful job with wildlife”

Judy Field From Lang Lang in Victoria

Light winds and warm weather greeted more than 2500 visitors who came ashore over two days from the cruise ships Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl at Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island, South Australia  last week.

Penneshaw township and local entrepreneurs who were keen to showcase a cross section of the island’s wildlife, marine based experiences, farming and local produce capitalised on the opportunity to promote some of what the island has to offer. 

Island transport resources were put to the test, with visitors utilising hire cars, coaches and a range of tour operators to visit a broad cross section of the island.

SeaLink tours encompassed a range of experiences and activities and included over 300 passengers visiting Kingscote on their tours alone.

A combined nature-based shearing demonstration and gourmet experience at Rob Howard’s farm attracted 300 visitors with passengers sampling local produce, seeing the production of fresh smoked food, viewing a yabbie races and meeting a number of birds brought to the venue by Raptor Domain.

John and Jane Favarol of Narrabeen NSW enjoyed visiting Seal Bay

John and Jane Favarol of Narrabeen NSW enjoyed visiting Seal Bay

Participants were very positive about their exposure to local product and farm gate experience with many vowing to return.

Judy Field from Lang Lang in Victoria said “best day trip I’ve been on, people were wonderful and doing such a wonderful job with wildlife”, while Margret Hardy of Bligh Park in NSW was quick to add “11/10 for everything. I’m telling others and will be coming back”.

Sonia Thompson of Glassodia NSW said “I thoroughly enjoyed the commentary on the coach to the gourmet feastival and the excellent food and hospitality”.

The Penneshaw township was alive with visitors and businesses were impressed with sales.

Lynn Wright, manager of the Pennshaw Community Business Centre, indicated that there was a strong increase in trade.

The tenders were kept busy doing trips back and forth to the Penneshaw jetty.

The tenders were kept busy doing trips back and forth to the Penneshaw jetty.

“In addition to usual postal requirements, local products like honey and olive oil were in high demand,” Ms Wright said. 

Managers of other businesses like the Penneshaw Hotel and other eateries where very impressed with the day trade. 

John and Jane Favorol of Narrabeen NSW took time to visit Seal Bay, which they enjoyed.

They then went to Penneshaw Hotel, and said “the local olives and King George Whiting with Chardy at the Penneshaw Hotel was perfect!”

Chairman of Tourism Kangaroo Island Pierre Gregor indicated that the majority of passengers were Australian and most had not been to Kangaroo Island before.

“The Pacific Jewel will do return visits on Friday March 6 and Tuesday March 17 and the Pacific Pearl returns Sunday March 8,” he said.

“I anticipate that similar numbers will again come ashore,” Mr Gregor said.

The third visit by the Pacific Jewel later in March will be the last for the current cruise ship season which saw seven ships visit the island.

TKI staff serving customers - answering questions and giving assistance in every way.

TKI staff serving customers - answering questions and giving assistance in every way.

Mr Gregor said that although cruise ships are a niche component of the visitor market, it is one that continues to grow and provides opportunities for local operators. 

“It’s great to see that some businesses are recognising and responding to the opportunities presented by this particular market,” he said. 

It is anticipated that eight or nine cruise ships will visit the island next season.

Source:  The Islander