INCOMING: The P&O Pacific Explorer will arrive in Gladstone again tomorrow.
INCOMING: The P&O Pacific Explorer will arrive in Gladstone again tomorrow. Contributed

Gladstone to welcome back familiar cruise ship

GLADSTONE will welcome the first of three visits this year from cruise ship Pacific Explorer when it docks at Auckland Point tomorrow.

The P&O cruise ship is no stranger to the region having visited here as recently as August and will make further appearances in the Port City on June 4 and August 4.

The ship will be docked in Gladstone from 9am-7pm, bringing with her 1998 passengers and more than 900 crew.

The Pacific Explorer is currently on a seven-night Southern Great Barrier Reef Cruise after departing Sydney on Monday.

GAPDL CEO Darryl Branthwaite said the Pacific Explorer offered a different experience compared to other P&O ships.

"It's taken over the run from Pacific Jewel and it has a bigger capacity," he said.

"It's a little more up-to-date, more modern than the Jewel was. It has more facilities on board - a bigger auditorium, more restaurants, more bars and bigger casino."

The Pacific Explorer's June 4 arrival marks an extremely busy time for cruise ship arrivals in Gladstone with a further 11 visits scheduled in the back half of the year.

"Once the next one comes in there's a lot coming in rapid succession. Our events team are going to be extremely busy," Mr Branthwaite said.

The Feast on East Markets will be held tomorrow at East Shores from 9am-6pm, in conjunction with the ship's arrival.

It will showcase around 75 stalls from around the region, including arts, handicrafts and food.

Live entertainment from local performers will be held throughout the day.