The P&O Pacific Explorer cruise ship will return to Gladstone next Tuesday.
The P&O Pacific Explorer cruise ship will return to Gladstone next Tuesday. Matt Taylor GLA290519SHIP

Cruise ship sails into Gladstone with $500K economic boost

CRUISE liner tourism is on the increase in Gladstone and each time a ship docks it generates a massive economic boost.

The Pacific Explorer is expected to sail into Gladstone next Tuesday, with just under 2000 passengers and 800 crew members visiting the region.

Gladstone Area Development and Promotion Limited CEO Darryl Branthwaite said surveys showed the average passenger spent $297 while in Gladstone, which is the highest spend along the whole of the east coast.

"The cruise liner has a massive effect on the economy, from berthing fees through to refuelling and more services which happen whilst in port," Mr Branthwaite said.

"Plus we see around 90 per cent of passengers and 30 per cent of the ship's crew disembark for the day or short periods going on tours around the region down to Agnes Water and 1770 or harbour cruise, or Quoin Island, or a city sights tour, Hop on Hop off bus, or just meander through the Feast on East Markets and up through the main street."

The Pacific Explorer, travelling from Sydney, will be the third cruise ship to visit Gladstone this year, after the MS Albatros was cancelled in February due to ex-tropical Cyclone Oma.

This calendar year a total of 15 ships were scheduled to dock in Gladstone with cruise liners expected to travel from as far away as Shanghai in October.

It's a significant increase on previous years. Since the cruise industry arrived in March 2016 there have been 18 ships dock into Gladstone.

"There's been a massive increase (in ships) with other brands watching on to see how our port experiences evolve such as the day trip to the reef, thrill rides and other tours which we are working on now."

The Pacific Explorer's visit marks the beginning of a busy period for the cruise terminal. Two weeks later the Carnival Spirit will dock into Gladstone before the Pacific Explorer returns in August.