Volunteers who answered a call by Destination Wollongong and the IRT Foundation to become ambassadors for Wollongong on October 30 have been given a glimpse of what is about to happen at Port Kembla when the city’s ship comes in.
A spokesperson from NSW Ports was invited to explain why Port Kembla is considered world class and such an attractive option for the cruise industry.
Sandy Rae also spoke about what will take place as Royal Caribbean’s maiden voyage arrives. Ms Rae said the 293 metre long Radiance of the Seas will dock at Berth 105 in the inner harbour. The pilot will meet the mega-liner at 6am and with the assistance of three tugs it will make its way into the harbour. The narrowest part will be the shipping channel between the inner and outer harbour. It will then make a turn in the inner harbour basin before berthing alongside the AAT facility around 7.45am.
Because of tight port security onlookers will get some of the best views from Flagstaff Hill and City Beach. Radiance will travel up the coast from the south and go past The Five Islands before turning back in past City Beach before entering the port.
The AAT facility is clean and provides easy access. It welcomes car carriers that are up to eight decks high and 299 metres long and boasts many facilities that are already better than many ports already handling cruise ships.
Port Kembla is a viable option for cruise lines because it is close to Sydney and operates 24/7. It has a 15.25 metre deep shipping channel with bulk cargo handling facilities. It used to handling some of the biggest vessels that visit Australian ports. Cruise ships are long but have a shallower draft, so it doesn’t matter how big they get Port Kembla can handle them. There is no height restriction because there is no bridge to get under. Berths 105 and 106 can handle more than cruise ship at a time and there is no need for tender boats. Another attraction for cruise lines is that Port Kembla is a full service port where all stakeholders work together to provide a seamless service.
Berth 105 is easily accessible so the official tour coaches being provided by Premier Motor Service will be lined up ready to go when Radiance arrives. “The passengers will come down the gangway and straight into those buses. For passengers making their own arrangements there will be a series of shuttle buses moving them to the activation zone in Lang Park”.
Being a Maritime Security Zone there will be tight security for access points on October 30. A number of designated official viewing places will be promoted in advance.
NSW Ports knows October 30 is a test and that the eyes of the cruising world will be on everything that happens. So significant planning has gone into how the visit by Radiance and then larger Voyager of the Seas just after Christmas are being managed.
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