A luxury cruise liner made its maiden voyage to Bunbury on Sunday carrying 690 guests with a crew of 400.
Azamara Journey’s visit to Bunbury is estimated to have injected $125,000 into the local economy and $740,000 into the WA economy throughout its season.
City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said they were delighted to have the luxury cruise liner in Bunbury.
“It’s a very important part of our cruise strategy and I just want to pay credit to the Cruise Ship Committee that has been working for many years to bring in cruise ships to our city,” he said.
“$125,000 in a few hours – it’s a big incentive for people to make these cruise ships welcome.
“It’s just another avenue of revenue for our City and also people coming to Bunbury for the first time we hope that their impressed enough to recommend people come and visit as well, so there are other benefits that we get from cruise ships coming in to our Port.”
Passengers spent time in Bunbury enjoying a variety of tours and wandering through the CBD before re-embarking for its next destination Albany.
Azamara Journey Captain Magnus Davidson said the passengers and crew had been very impressed with Bunbury.
“There was a really nice warm welcome from the Bunbury City Band and the volunteers that turned out for the meet and greet - we really appreciated that,” he said.
“Infrastructure wise everything we have experienced so far has been excellent, it’s a pleasure for us to be making our first call to WA and we’ll definitely be back.”
Cruise Bunbury acting chairman Mark Exeter said feedback had been overwhelmingly positive from passengers and crew.
“Having now met with the captain and crew of the Azamara and the feedback from them about how fantastic a place Bunbury is in both the port and the city and how welcoming it is, I think it’s been really great,” he said.
“There is still a lot to do from the point of view of getting everything right and fine tuning everything and promoting Bunbury as a cruise destination and working with the cruise lines – it’s very exciting.
“We are looking at introducing new shore excursions for Bunbury for the next cruise ship seasons and at what we can do from the point of view of promoting local businesses, local wine and food and better information for the passengers as they are leaving the ship.”
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said cruise shipping provided direct economic benefits to WA’s ports destinations.
The luxury cruise ship will visit the regional ports of Albany and Esperance before heading to the East Coast on the 18-day voyage.