With Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas returning on January 29 and the larger Explorer of the Seas making its first visit on March 18, the call is going out for Wollongong ambassadors for the new cruise season.
Destination Wollongong and IRT Group are so impressed with what the volunteer army of welcomers did during Radiance of the Seas inaugural visit last October followed by two visits by Voyager of the Seas an one by Norwegian Star that they want to reactivate the program.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh and IRT Foundation manager Toby Dawson said more than 100 proud ambassadors were the lifeblood of the city during the inaugural cruise season.
So as the city prepares to welcome more cruise ships this summer they are inviting people to apply to become ambassadors again.
Wollongong was seen by more than 10,000 cruise passengers who came ashore last summer as a warm, friendly, welcoming city.
The 2017/18 cruise season ambassadors will again be invited to help direct passengers around the city, provide information, answer questions and share their insights into what Wollongong and its surrounds are all about.
Ms Sleigh said talks were continuing with Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines about more visits and with two more visits confirmed in the New Year it was a great time for people to nominate to join in the fun. ”Current ambassadors are invited to re-register and new ambassadors are invited to join”.
Mr Dawson said those involved last season had so much fun the senior living provider was keen to support the initiative again.
John Stanes, or Cordeaux Heights, enjoyed being a team leader so much during four previous cruise ship visits he said he can’t wait to do it again.
“I love meeting visitors to our city and showing-off everything that makes me proud to be a resident of Wollongong," he said.
Destination Wollongong chair Tania Brown said the Ambassador program could potentially be used for other major city events as well so it was great to have so many proud residents willing to be involved in showcasing their city to visitors.
Ambassador registrations can be made at visitwollongong.com.au.
“I really like it,” Mr Stanes said.
“And being a team leader I love seeing the joy my team gets out of it too. I get a kick out of that as well.”
Mr Stanes said he particularly enjoyed meeting people from other states and countries who have never been to Wollongong before and getting their reactions about the city after his team showed them around.
“We always talk to them when they come back after spending the day in the city and their reaction is always “oh I didn’t think Wollongong is like this. You have got so much here”. They want to come back and they want to tell their family and friends. And I had two Swedish girls tell me they wanted to move to Wollongong because it was so good.”
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