WARM WELCOME: Captain Adriano Binacchi and hotel director (crewman) Duncan Puttock.
WARM WELCOME: Captain Adriano Binacchi and hotel director (crewman) Duncan Puttock. Matt Taylor GLA220618SHIP

Gladstone shines as largest cruise ship yet comes to port

ESCORTED through the Feast on East markets to an official ceremony, Canival Spirit captain Adriano Binacchi said it was a special day for his crew and passengers, who for the first time stopped in Gladstone.

With a stage propped metres away from the popular water park, Gladstone gave a grand welcome to the 294-metre long vessel carrying more than 2000 passengers.

Mr Binacchi, an Italian who said when cruises go to plan he had the best job in the world, was presented with a plaque yesterday morning to recognise the Singapore vessel's maiden voyage to the Port City.

He said it was a beautiful day to be in Gladstone, after months of preparations at Carnival's Miami office.

It was the 15th and largest cruise ship to visit Gladstone since March 2016, a figure which is expected to grow with more upgrades slated at East Shores.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the $30million terminal and East Shores upgrade would provide top opportunities.

"That upgrade will offer even more to do when they get off the ships," he said.

"If we can present them with a wonderful parkland, that will open up more opportunities for more frequent cruise ships."

He said if Gladstone could secure a cruise ship visit every week or fortnight it would create enough support for more residents to open businesses.

Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited chief executive Darryl Branthwaite said 120 passengers travelled to Agnes Water, about 40 went to Quoin Island and more than 30 booked in for the Gladstone harbour tour.

The ship left Gladstone at 5pm yesterday bound for Sydney.