It was part of Carnival Australia’s pioneering efforts to open up regional ports around the country.
In fact, Pacific Pearl was due to make a ‘destination test drive’ to Mooloolaba, 97km north of Brisbane on August 14 last year. However, that call was cancelled due to severe weather.
Pacific Pearl returned to Mooloolaba again in August and October.
Now Sunshine Coast Destination ceo Simon Ambrose has announced there will be 10 calls at Mooloolaba from next month until September 2016, bringing more than 17,000 passengers to the tender port.
P&O Cruises Australia’s new ship Pacific Eden, Holland America Line’s former Statendam, will call on December 18.
Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest follows on January 10, 2016, followed by Holland America Line’s Amsterdam on February 13.
P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Jewel will visit four times (March 19, May 11, June 27 and August 10), Pacific Aria, the former Ryndam, will call June 15, Carnival Spirit August 16 and Pacific Pearl returns September 4.
Ships anchor off Point Cartwright and passengers are transferred by tenders to the Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium jetty.
‘The Sunshine Coast business and general community has shown that they welcome cruise passengers very warmly,’ Ambrose said.
He said there is a wide range of shore activities and that the Sunshine Coast aims to become a favourite destination for cruise ships.