One Pearler of a day as cruise ship comes to town
UPDATE: They came in on Whale One but they're going back on smaller tenders as the swell picked up this afternoon.
Luckily for the visitors, for the most part the foul weather held off and Whale One and a number of other Mooloolaba stores enjoyed plenty of punters floating in and out of their shopfronts, enjoying a day on land after disembarking the Pacific Pearl for some quality retail therapy.
The Pacific Pearl is set to depart about 6pm, with visitors to be back on board by 5pm.
Visit Sunshine Coast volunteer coordinator Emily Jimmieson and her team were on hand yet again to welcome those flocking to our shores.
A temporary visitor information centre is setup to help visitors plan their days, with plenty heading further afield to check out the hinterland and even Australia Zoo.
They've done this about 12 times this year, with about one cruise ship a month coming to Mooloolaba.
Volunteer Sharon Downing is freshly retired and wanted to keep herself busy having moved up from Adelaide recently.
She thought the visitor information centre was a good way to stay busy and help others enjoy a region she'd loved visiting for years.
IT'S 247m long, was built in London and features 11 levels of entertainment for those lucky enough to be aboard.
Yep, the Pacific Pearl is back in town.
Pools, spas, a theatre and six restaurants, there's plenty of attractions on board the 64,000 tonne ocean cruiser, but the lure of Mooloolaba will prove too good to pass up for many on Saturday.
Some will travel our hinterland, others will flutter among the locals along the coastal strip, regaining their land-legs and spending some quality time and money in our region when the P&O cruise ship docks off Pt Cartwright for what is the last cruise ship visit of the year to the Coast.
The Sunshine Coast has welcomed more than 24,000 cruise guests over the past two years and is fast becoming one of a number of regional destinations high on the cruise itinerary hit list.
In 2015-16 the stopovers generated more than $1.2 million in expenditure on the Coast and Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said in September the cruise visits had led to an increase in dedicate visits to the region.
Meanwhile Whale One, the whale watching and charter boat business is one group benefiting from the visits.
Owner John Matterson and his wife, sales and marketing manager Juanita Matterson, will be making runs out to the Pacific Pearl to ferry passengers back to Mooloolaba in their 125-seat passenger vessel.
"Mooloolaba is one of the most popular places to visit according to cruise guests, and a lot of people come off the boat to the shore," Mrs Matterson said.