Pacific Dawn became the first cruise ship to visit Gladstone, a central Queensland port.

Receiving a warm welcome from the locals, followed by a civic ceremony, thousands of guests onboard Pacific Dawn are excited to visit Gladstone, as part of a four night Queensland Sea Break cruise.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell thanked Gladstone Regional Council for their enthusiastic reception of the crew and guests.

“We know from experience that our passengers best remember destinations by the warmth of the community welcome and Gladstone has certainly lived up to its reputation as a friendly city,” Mr Myrmell said.

“Gladstone has so much to offer as a cruise destination. Australians are fascinated by the port’s nation-building industrial development, along with the beauty of the region as the gateway to the southern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef.”

In February 2016, P&O Australia announced new 17 port calls and Gladstone was one of them.

The guests will have the opportunity to experience Quoin Island Retreat, home to Central Queensland’s Turtle Rehabilitation Centre nestled within Gladstone Harbour which will include opportunities for personal encounters with Australian wildlife featuring turtles, wombats, pretty face wallabies, snakes, lizards and sugar gliders; take a 35 minute scenic flight to Heron Island; visit the Feast on East Market for local art and crafts and cuisine, within walking distance from the ship.

Pacific Jewel will also visit Gladstone on March 20, 2016 and later this year, Cairns will become the first regional port in Queensland to homeport a P&O ship.

Gladstone Mayor, Cr Gail Sellers, said Gladstone was very excited about the first arrivals by P&O Cruises’ ships. “The cruise ships will be a great addition to the tourism industry in the Gladstone region. I join with our community in welcoming these impressive vessels along with the thousands of passengers that will be coming into our beautiful region,” said Cr Sellers.

Image courtesy: Gladstone Observer