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First ship for the 2023-24 summer season arrives 2 December

Four cruise ships will dock off Mooloolaba’s shores next month bringing more than 2725 day visitors and a major economic boost to Sunshine Coast business owners and operators in the lead-up to Christmas.

The first cruise ship to arrive will be the Viking Orion on Saturday, 2 December carrying up to 930 passengers.
Visit Sunshine Coast staff, volunteers from the Visitor Information Centres and tourism operators will be at The Wharf, Mooloolaba, from 8am to greet passengers as they disembark – and locals are invited to join the welcome party.

“Our volunteer ambassadors will be there to welcome the passengers to help them make the most of their shore excursions as they explore the Sunshine Coast on their stop over,” Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said.

“The cruise ships provide an impressive contribution to the Sunshine Coast economy – these visits are worth close to $1million a year.

“The economic boost to Mooloolaba, and the Sunshine Coast, is extremely valuable to businesses, especially during quieter mid-week trading periods.

“Plus, research shows that passengers who have a great time here during a stopover tell their friends and family and frequently return to the Sunshine Coast in the future, so it provides longer-term benefits.”

The Viking Orion left Bangkok on 7 November on a South Pacific Sojourn and has travelled via Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia on its way to Australia, with a planned arrival at her homeport of Sydney on 5 December.

Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said cruise ship arrivals were an important part of the Sunshine Coast’s tourism mix as they provided a welcome economic boost for the region,
“The Sunshine Coast is a premier destination for cruise travellers with so many tours and experiences available,” Cr O’Pray said.

“Our local businesses and tourism operators recognise the opportunities these visits present, and we’ve seen positive impacts from previous visits felt throughout the region including in our hinterland communities.”

A prime example is the up to 600 passengers heading to enjoy a visit to Australia Zoo in Beerwah including the opportunity to experience a variety of conservation shows whilst exploring native wildlife habitats.

Guests will arrive on coaches between 9.45am and 1,15pm for a three-hour duration at Australia Zoo on Sunday 2 December.

In an effort to make meaningful contributions at each port, Viking Cruises are giving an additional $5 per passenger to Wildlife Warriors, supporting global conservation projects such as the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, treating sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.

Who’s coming this summer:

  • Viking Orion (up to 930 passengers), Saturday 2 December, 8.00am-6.00pm
  • Star Breeze (up to 312 passengers), Friday 15 December, 10.00am-6.00pm
  • Seven Seas Explorer (up to 809 passengers), Tuesday 19 December, 8.00am-6.00pm
  • Regatta (up to 675 passengers), Sunday 24 December, 7.00am-5.00pm
  • Silver Whisper (up to 388 passengers), Friday 16 February, 8.00am-5.00pm
  • Viking Sky (up to 930 passengers), Sunday 18 February, 8.00am-6.00pm
  • Viking Orion (up to 930 passengers), Friday 1 March, 8.00am-6.00pm
  • Azamara Onward (up to 670 passengers), Thursday 4 March, 8.00am-8.00pm
  • Amera (up to 835 passengers), Friday 8 March, 9.00am-11.00pm


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