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MEDIA RELEASE - Ponant cruise line explores Portland

9 April 2018

One of the world’s most exclusive cruise line companies has visited Portland to investigate new itinerary opportunities.

French based cruise company Ponant spent two days exploring the region’s key tourist destinations and investigating berthing opportunities at the Port of Portland.

The cruise company has a fleet of seven vessels, providing intimate five-star cruising worldwide. Its passengers are largely from the retiree market who are well travelled and interested in exploring a variety of nature-based offerings.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Anita Rank said Ponant were impressed by the unique local offering.

“The company have already been in touch with our tourism unit stating they thought the area and the people were ‘delightful’ and that they would be providing a very positive view of Portland and surrounds to senior management for consideration as a potential destination for future schedules,” Cr Rank said.

“This latest visit and the immediate positive review provide our team with great confidence that a booking can be secured, with further business into the future.”

Ponant’s expedition operations manager explored Cape Bridgewater, enjoying a Seals by the Sea tour and walkthrough the Petrified Forest and blowholes. The visit also included a tour of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, learning more about the UNESCO World Heritage Listing with local Gunditjmara guides, plus a tour of the Princess Margaret Rose Caves and the Glenelg River at Nelson.

Cr Rank said South Australian tourism contacts also assisted with the visit, providing a tour of the Blue Lake and Umpherston Caves, and an overview of the Coonawarra wine region.

“Locking in future business with these cruise companies requires a whole of region showcase. Whilst our shire has world class tourism offerings, we need the assistance of South Australia and our neighbours on the Great Ocean Road and Grampians to appeal to all passenger interests,” Cr Rank said.

“There is not a one size fits all formula – each vessel has a specific demographic requesting certain themed tours and offerings. We are fortunate to be in reach of three iconic destinations which sets our port ahead of many other regional destinations.”

Portland’s next scheduled cruise ship is the Regatta from Oceania Cruises in January 2019 with a further four cruise lines secured through to March 2020.

To see the full schedule visit http://www.glenelg.vic.gov.au/Portland_Australias_new_cruise_destination_


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