IMPRESSIVE: The P&O Pacific Explorer cruise ship docked in Gladstone today.
IMPRESSIVE: The P&O Pacific Explorer cruise ship docked in Gladstone today. Matt Taylor GLA280219SHIP

Cruise ship arrival helps spark small business

LOCAL small business owners had their chance to shine at today's Feast on East Markets with the arrival of another cruise ship.

Six days after the cancellation of German ship MS Albatros, about 75 stallholders were well prepared for the P&O Pacific Explorer.

GAPDL events and administration officer Emma Plath said stallholders were able to trade earlier than expected.

"We kicked off at 8am - we found out yesterday the Pacific Explorer was coming in early so I contacted the stallholders and luckily they were able to come earlier and get their stalls set up," Ms Plath said.

"The passengers started getting off at about 8.20am. There's been a great response... the shuttle buses have been so popular and are filling up.

"We've got the hop-on, hop-off buses so they can go places like the museum, botanic gardens, Spinnaker Park and shopping centre."

Stallholder Kim Fraser was pleased with the arrival of another ship, which brought almost 2000 passengers to the region.

 

Wawa Tree Clothing owner Kim Fraser at the Feast on East Markets when the Pacific Explorer arrived on February 28, 2019.
Wawa Tree Clothing owner Kim Fraser at the Feast on East Markets. Matt Harris

The Wawa Tree Clothing owner, who specialises in handmade clothing for boys and girls, was pleased with the amount of cruise ships arriving in Gladstone this year.

"I think it's the best thing for Gladstone if we can get more cruise ships coming in it's great for local businesses because we really need something other than industry," she said.

"Tourism is the way to go... It's worth coming out to the cruise ships because you get new faces in and the locals come down to support it as well."

The seven-night Southern Great Barrier Reef Cruise now will travel to Tangalooma before returning to Sydney.