Five cruise ships are scheduled for arrival to Kangaroo Island in January and a further eight, including the Queen Mary 2, in February.

Thanks: Chairman of Tourism Kangaroo Island Pierre Gregor receives a plaque from Jellica Bisenio from the Norwegian Jewel. Photo: Supplied.
Thanks: Chairman of Tourism Kangaroo Island Pierre Gregor receives a plaque from Jellica Bisenio from the Norwegian Jewel. Photo: Supplied.

The 2017/18 Cruise Ship visits season saw the first five vessels arrive at Penneshaw between mid November and December.  

The weather was unusually cool and occasionally blustery but did not stop the tenders bringing passengers ashore.

The last vessel to arrive in December was the Norwegian Jewel on her maiden voyage to Kangaroo Island.  

With a capacity of 3476 passengers and crew, the Norwegian Jewel is among the largest cruise ships to visit KI.

Jellica Bisenio, representing the ship's Captain, came ashore to exchange greetings and present a plaque to the Chairman of Tourism Kangaroo Island Pierre Gregor and said that they were delighted to have an amazing place like KI on the cruise itinerary and that they look forward to further visits in 2018 and 2019.  

Pierre Gregor has been closely monitoring the number of passengers that are coming ashore and said that over the five arrivals to date and average of 78 per cent of their passengers came ashore.

“So far almost 6,900 passengers have come ashore, 2,200 of which came from the Norwegian Jewel which represented 93 per cent of the passengers she was carrying.

“These figures do not include over 500 crew members from the various cruise ships who also landed,” he said.

The passenger meet and greet services coordinated by Tourism KI have been well received and Mr Gregor said that passenger experiences and sense of arrival could not be what it is without the help of the small core of dedicated volunteers and those involved in setting up the cruise ship markets.  

“The volunteers also include a small team of tourism students from Flinders University who assist with each cruise ship visit.

“This support has been arranged by the SATC and is very helpful as well as providing the students with some 'hands on' tourism experience.  

“Nevertheless it would be nice to get greater local involvement, particularly for the larger vessels.”

Five more vessels are scheduled for arrival in January and a further eight, including the Queen Mary 2, in February.