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MEDIA RELEASE - An old friend returns to Portland cruise schedule

5 October 2018

One of Portland’s old cruise season friends is returning next summer with a new look and new name.

The Vasco da Gama this week announced a Portland stopover on 29 December 2019 as part of its busy summer cruise season schedule.

Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the vessel would look familiar to many locals as it was previously known as the Pacific Eden, a regular visitor to the SL Patterson berth since cruising arrived five years ago.

New owners Cruise and Maritime Voyages acquired the vessel from P&O, giving its club members the opportunity to name the exclusive vessel which will tour southern waters in summer, and Asian and European waters in the Australian winter season.

The new name, Vasco da Gama, is in recognition of the famous Portuguese explorer and navigator.

“We are extremely proud to welcome back this well-recognised cruise ship which has frequented our shores on a number of occasions over the years,” Cr Rank.

“It will include more than 1200 guests and 500 crew who will explore our local sights and attractions as part of a one day stopover.

“There are now seven vessels scheduled to arrive over the next two seasons with negotiations continuing with some of the world’s biggest cruise lines to lock in more bookings into the future.”

Council recently returned from the Australian Cruise Conference where Portland was marketed as Australia’s premier regional cruise destination, attracting interest from a number of global leaders.

Cr Rank said continued high on-shore ratings, as high as 90 per cent, were assisting to strengthen the region’s touring profile.

“It is testimony to the hard work of our dedicated volunteers and council staff who coordinate these on-shore visits who provide a visit to remember. We know people have returned, some even buying houses here, as a result of the welcoming experience they received by our community, falling in love with our lifestyle and town,” she said.

“Our staff are working hard to make the 2019 experience even one step better, to ensure this high profile continues to grow.”

The cruise ship season starts on 10 January 2019 with the arrival of the Regatta. People wishing to volunteer for the during the season, assisting with driving shuttle buses and handing our visitor packs, can register their interest with council’s tourism team.

To register contact tourism and events manager Mick Cottee via

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