Volunteer ambassadors are wasting no time responding to the unexpected news that another 3500 cruise ship passengers and crew will visit Wollongong on February 23.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said #cruisewollongong’s volunteer army of welcomers were so enthusiastic that almost as soon as news broke Norwegian Star was arriving this month 45 people immediately put up their hands. “We had 130 for the last visit. If we can get 100 this time that will be amazing,” he said.
At Mount Keira on Friday #cruisewollongong directors Cr Leigh Colacino, Colin Bloomfield and Tania Brown said they were using the Norwegian Cruise Line visit as another opportunity to proactively develop Wollongong’s cruise visit strategy. Cr Colacino said it was great to know how much potential the cruise industry must see in Port Kembla as a versatile port.
“It is not only a port for cruise ship visitors but repair and maintenance. It has everything a cruise line would want to make this a home port. We are working on that right now and hopefully we will make an announcement soon”.
Mr Bloomfield said February 23 was another chance for retailers to get behind the cruise industry opportunity. “They can help make it a special day. Every cruise ship visit brings a lot of money into the economy and we have to just keep pushing that.”.
Cr Colacino said retailers could create the feeling of what makes Wollongong such a friendly and inviting city. That is something that can set it apart from every other destination in the world.
“We are not a flow over port for Sydney. We are a destination in our own right. That is becoming more obvious. The main thing still is to look after every single passenger that comes on any ship. We are saying to cruise lines..if you do us the honour of coming to our port we will make sure your passengers have an experience that will equal anything in the world.”
Ms Brown said Norwegian Star’s visit came as cruise lines plan their schedules for 2018/19. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase what we bring to the table”.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer ambassador can email email@example.com or call 4264 1125.
Norwegian Star – Ship Facts
- Gross Register Tonnage: 91,740
- Guest Capacity: 2,348 (double occupancy)
- Overall Length: 965ft
- Max Beam: 125ft
- Year Built: 2001
- Year Refurbished: 2015
- Ship Crew: 1,031
Destination Wollongong statement
Wollongong’s summer of cruising is set to continue with the announcement today that Norwegian Cruise line’s Norwegian Star will berth in Port Kembla Harbour on Thursday, February 23, 2017.
The city will form a new unexpected stop on the ship’s Auckland to Singapore itinerary to allow extra maintenance on the ship’s engines.
The decision to include Port Kembla on the itinerary is a boon for both Wollongong and the passengers with the former continuing to build its credentials as a pivotal cruising port and the latter scoring an extra day of adventure and fun in a new destination.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said the visit by the Norwegian Star proved the impact both the city and port have already made on the booming cruise industry in Australia.
“We are delighted to be welcoming a second cruise line to Wollongong in our first summer as a cruising destination,” he said.
“It puts us two years ahead of where we thought we would be at this stage of the game. The decision by Norwegian Cruise Line to berth at Port Kembla Harbour at short notice shows we have demonstrated our capacity to not only provide a fantastic visitor experience but are also able to engage with cruise operators at every level of the business. We have proven we are cruise ready and can turn around these opportunities as needed as well as having the capacity and infrastructure to meet all of their needs. This is a major win for Wollongong.”
Destination Wollongong chair Tania Brown said that the feedback from previous cruise visitors was that the welcome Wollongong turned on for them was as warm as anywhere in the world and is calling for another passionate reception on this occasion.
“To welcome a second cruise line to Wollongong so quickly is extraordinary and shows we are firmly on the cruising world agenda,” she said.
“Considering companies are now contracting for the upcoming 2017/2018 season and beyond, this can only enhance our reputation as a genuine cruise destination. One of the real success stories of this cruise season has been the IRT/ DW Ambassador Program and the warm Wollongong welcome they have greeted our visitors with. In just three visits by Royal Caribbean, we proved ourselves as a welcoming, engaged and beautiful destination. Now we are proving ourselves to be agile and multi-skilled as well.”
Wollongong City councillor Leigh Colacino said the imminent arrival of the Norwegian Star was an indication of a bright future for cruise ship tourism in the region.
“It is very exciting to see that another Cruise Line has recognised what Port Kembla and Wollongong offers,” Cr Colacino said.
“It is also worth noting that separate to our region being a great destination for passengers to enjoy, our Port also offers first rate maintenance facilities. Importantly, no matter what reason a ship is in our port, our city will always look after each and every visitor who comes ashore. We knew that once we showed companies what Wollongong was all about, they would come. On February 23, Norwegian Cruise Line will discover what Royal Caribbean was the first to understand – that Wollongong is a premier destination on every level.”
The Norwegian Star will sail into Port Kembla Harbour at about 7am on Thursday, February 23.
Anyone interested in being involved in the IRT / DW Ambassador Program can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 4228 0300.
What’s On Board Norwegian Star?
- Mandara Spa: Revive, refresh and recharge in the Mandara Spa®. Pampering professionals soothe and rejuvenate guests with facials, massages, acupuncture and more.
- Bars and Lounges: Norwegian Star features up to 10 bars and lounges, each with its own unique vibe. Gather at Gatsby's Champagne Bar for a sunset toast or try the international selection of beers at the outdoor Bier Garten.
- Complimentary Dining: Serving a wide variety of culinary delights to please every palate, the complimentary dining options include two main dining rooms, a help-yourself buffet and a variety of casual cafés, grills and on-the-go choices. The Main Dining Rooms offer a menu that changes daily, Chef's Signature Dishes and carefully selected wine recommendations, guaranteeing a different culinary adventure with every visit.
- Specialty Dining: Enjoy a night of gastronomic proportions at one of the many specialty restaurants on board Norwegian Star. Guests can sip on their favourite cocktails as they select from choice cuts of Certified Angus Beef® at Cagney's Steakhouse. They can also enjoy delicious pastas made with the freshest ingredients inside the rustic and chic Italian eatery, La Cucina, or they can savour French cuisine at Le Bistro. Guests with sweet tooth cravings can swing by the Bake Shop. Or can satisfy a late-night craving with our 24-hour pizza delivery service.
- On Board Activities: From top to bottom and from bow to stern, Norwegian Star ships have enough onboard activities to fill every minute. Guests can indulge in a refreshing swim, cocktail or ice cream treat at The Oasis Pool. Or they can bet at award-winning Casinos at Sea®.
- Entertainment: When it comes to entertainment on Norwegian Star, there's never a dull moment. Guests can tickle their funny bones with the hilarious musings of The Second City, Chicago's legendary improv comedy group. Or find out whodunit during the Presumed Murder Luncheon. Standup comings and unicycle-riding jugglers inside Stardust Theatre will give guests an indulgentevening of knee-slapping laughter with their theatrical brilliance.
Specialty Dining Restaurants
- Moderno - Guests looking for a unique experience will enjoy the ship’s authentic Brazilian steakhouse, and can start with an impressive salad bar of imported cheeses, olives, cured meats, ceviche and specialty salads. Be sure to save room for the delicious skewers of slow-roasted meats including beef, pork, lamb and chicken - all carved tableside by Pasadores.
- Teppanyaki Room - Flying shrimp. Onion volcanoes. Twirling knives. The sizzles and surprises never cease at this authentic Japanese Hibachi restaurant. Guests can sit around a lively shared table as a skillful chef slices, chops and grills steak, seafood and chicken on a large steel grill.
- Cagney’s Steakhouse - Steak is the standard at this American-style steakhouse. Guests can sip on their favourite cocktails as they select from choice cuts of Certified Angus Beef(R) and the famous truffle fries.
- La Cucina – Guests can enjoy the flavours of the Tuscan countryside at tables with room for old friends and new. They can dine on classic dishes and taste the freshness of every tomato used to make an exquisitely delicious sauce. Try a twist on a classic like prawn fettuccine, or keep it purist with an osso bucco.
- Le Bistro French Restaurant - Have it au poivre or just go straight for the bouillabaisse at this signature French restaurant. Elegant interiors and attentive servers make this an intimate dining experience reminiscent of a Parisian café.
- Sushi and Sake Bar - Ginza Asian Restaurant also has a Sushi and Sashimi Bar where guests can enjoy the very best sushi and sashimi expertly prepared to perfection.