Voyager visitors help Wollongong realise cruise ship vision

Second visit: Voyager of the Seas sailing past Wollongong Golf Club after its first visit on December 27. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Second visit: Voyager of the Seas sailing past Wollongong Golf Club after its first visit on December 27. Picture: Greg Ellis.

The Illawarra is expecting a further economic boost on Wednesday for the second visit by the giant cruise ship Voyager of the Seas in less than a month.

Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said what was fantastic about the first three visits by Royal Caribbean is the city has been able to host three totally different events that showcase it in different ways to thousands of holiday makers. And the spin-offs are likely for years to come.

“The inaugural voyage by Radiance of the Seas was a party atmosphere in Lang Park,” he said.

“Voyager’s first visit was on a public holiday with the Boxing Day sales. And next Wednesday will be a normal working day in the CBD and will be completely different again. It will be a chance for Wollongong to give another fantastic welcome.”

“It will show what a fantastic city centre we have on a daily basis in the most livable city in Australia”.

Mr Sleigh said with the feedback from the first three visits he expected many passengers would look at coming back for a holiday and or possibly even invest in the region. And is just the beginning of Wollongong’s journey as a cruise destination.

“The city is now looking forward to talking to other cruise ship companies,” he said.

The volunteer response for the January 18 visit has once again been strong. There will be 160 ambassadors in blue shirts ready to give Voyager passengers a big welcome on Wednesday.

The format will be similar to December 27 with the mega-liner docking at Port Kembla just before 8am and the first passengers arriving in the Arts Precinct just after 8.30 on Premier Illawarra shuttles. Hopping off the buses closer to the CBD worked so well last time that many shop owners saw the benefit and are expecting more business again.