ON 15 September the Port of Eden welcomed its first cruise ship, P&O Cruises Pacific Explorer. It’s the first of 21 cruise ships forecast for this season, along with more vessels in years to come including the prestigious Queen Elizabeth in the 2020/21 season.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the extension of Breakwater Wharf and dredging will accommodate cruise ships up to 260 metres long.

“Accommodating cruise ships disembarking in the Port of Eden opens up another avenue of tourism to flow into the region, increases revenue for local cafés and restaurants and provides employment opportunities at nearby tourist attractions,” Mr McCormack said.

Bega Valley Mayor Kristy McBain said the increase in tourism would provide a strong platform for hospitality students involved in the town’s ‘Welcome Program’ and highlight other marine industries in the region.

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“What the Breakwater Wharf extension represents and what our town can gain from this economic opportunity fills me with optimism and should excite the whole community,” Ms McBain said.

The project was jointly funded with the Australian government investing $10m, the NSW government $32m and Bega Valley Shire Council $2m.

The project also included the construction of new berthing dolphins, bollards, quarantine and customs inspection facilities and ship access facilities.

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