Extended Wharf – the game-changer for Eden
You’ve surely heard the news that the Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension is now complete. The $44 million investment from all levels of government has consumed the media and community for several years. The first cruise ship to tie up alongside at the new wharf will be the “Pacific Explorer“, carrying almost 2,000 passengers, on 15th September 2019.
It’s a milestone that many worked for years to achieve, knowing that the global cruise industry is growing at unprecedented speed. Regional ports with facilities such as these, and a big deep harbour with no bars to cross, are a dream destination for the cruise industry.
What will the cruise industry mean for Eden?
Eden has begun to rise out a decade or two of economic downturn, brought about by major downscaling of the traditional industries of fishing and forestry. The tourism economy was very small pre-2000. It was always a short and sweet tourism ‘season’, the majority of visitors coming by car from Victoria. This sugar-hit lasted about 6 weeks with another rush at Easter. Hospitality jobs were popular amongst young mums and students for a bit of pocket money but full-time work in hospitality and tourism were rare.
In the early 2000s, a cruise ship company made contact with the harbour master and expressed an interest in bringing a cruise ship into Twofold Bay. A key group of volunteers pulled together and managed the complex logistics and operations, calling on mates and colleagues to make the visit memorable for the passengers. It was the town’s first foray into the cruise industry, and a catalyst for the unprecedented government investment in wharf infrastructure, involving all three levels of government.
From little things, big things grow
Fast forward 15 or so years and the wharf extension will allow cruise ships up to 325m to tie up alongside and disembark passengers right onto land. A big boon for any port, and a huge benefit to a regional port where the majority rely on good conditions and transferring passengers to shore by tender.
This season, we expect 22 cruise ships – and from here on the predictions are for a rapid rise of up to 80 ships per year. As a contracted tour operator, we are naturally pretty thrilled with this increase in business. And as community members, we can hopefully support other new businesses as they enter this new and exciting era.
For a full overview of ships expected into port, visit the Port Authority page here.
Follow the season as it rolls out via the Cruise Eden Facebook page.
And book your kayak tour here today so you can slot in around our busy cruise ship schedule!