Wallaroo and the broader Yorke Peninsula region will be cruising to great things this time next year when a cruise ship drops into the port for the first time, providing a welcome tourism boost in the process.
The 1200-passenger Vasco de Gama will call on Wallaroo three times during the 2019 cruising season, starting in December.
The Vasco de Gama, formerly the Pacific Eden and now belonging to Cruise & Maritime Voyagers, will also stop at Penneshaw, Port Lincoln and Adelaide as cruising along the South Australian coastline grows in popularity.
Kadina Travel owner Sandra Paddick said the cruise ship news had been warmly welcomed across the peninsula and even seemed to have contributed to a big rise in people looking at cruising holidays.
“Cruising has boomed in the last five years,” Ms Paddick said.
“And because the ships are coming here, it does appear to have raised the interest locally in the cruising industry.
“This will be the first time an international cruise ship has come into Wallaroo.
“The 1200 people coming into the area will help the economy, there’s no doubt, but it also is something that people across the region are going to enjoy seeing.”
With 30 years in the travel industry and a staff of five at Kadina Travel, an agency she bought in 1991, Ms Paddick can easily see the great benefit for the region from the cruise ship visits.
“It’s great for the area,” Ms Paddick said.
“It’s getting everyone thinking about cruising and it will be a cost-effective way for people to get a taste of that travel in our protected waters and along our stunning coastline.”
Copper Coast Council mayor Roslyn Talbot said the cruise ship visits presented a “huge opportunity for the region”, given the more “local” passengers appeared to be booking cabins on the boutique cruise ships.
“We’re likely to see, and hoping to see, that people aboard those cruises come here for a day on the cruise ship, fall in love with the area and, because many are from cities and regions relatively close to the Yorke Peninsula, that they come back and stay for a week,” she said.