Cruise Whitsundays are on the move
THE Whitsundays' major ferry and cruise operators, Cruise Whitsundays, are about to embark on a new and exciting era as the company moves to its purpose-built maritime terminal at Port of Airlie this weekend.
From this Saturday, September 6, all Abell Point Marina departures and arrivals will switch to the new Port of Airlie terminal while Shute Harbour services will remain unchanged.
General manager of operations, Gary Kilby, described the company's new facility as a dedicated terminal, designed to efficiently move people and luggage, while also providing unparalleled customer service and "a professional experience for our trading partners such as Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and all the Airlie Beach accommodation, coming in the other way".
Mr Kilby said every element of the day-to-day operations at the new terminal had been carefully thought through, such as setting dock heights to match the deck levels of vessels, allowing for easier passenger access and 'roll-on, roll-off' handling of baggage and freight.
Gavin Baxter, from GMP Management, who project managed the development, agreed the new boat terminal was setting the standard in modern passenger travel, with its state-of-the-art airport style check-in, comfortable seating areas and large, open building space, boasting high timber panel ceilings and great visibility through to the marina.
"The directors and staff at Cruise Whitsundays have applied their working knowledge into the design, which has resulted in a terminal that works logistically for all their operations, whether it be movement of passengers, luggage, fuel and supplies [or] staff," he said.
"There is an element of excitement arriving at the terminal, which is what every traveller should feel."
Cruise Whitsundays CEO, Nick Hortle, said the best part of the new terminal was the seamless experience it offered "and how everything flows".
He said the overall aim was to keep passengers wanting to come back by providing them with "this beautiful gateway experience", as well as offering something for the local community.
"So come in and enjoy it, and take it as a token of how much we are invested in the place and what our commitment to Airlie Beach as the jumping off point for the whole of the Whitsundays is," he said.
Cruise Whitsundays executive director Chris Jacobs said the Port of Airlie development was certainly the company's biggest step yet.
"[And] we look forward to welcoming you to the new Cruise Whitsundays Maritime Terminal, be it for a boat ride or a coffee," he said.
Check-in facilities doubled, with resort connections airport-style check-in desks, separated from day cruises
Baggage carousels for luggage check-in
Indoor and outdoor café seating for 160 people overlooking the water and jetties
Fully licensed café with fresh, homemade food and free public wi-fi
'Ocean Image' retail store
Separate jetties for passengers and luggage
Custom built jetties with 'roll-on roll-off' luggage and passenger boarding
Fully integrated transit hub with 170 car parking spaces, bike racks, taxi access and bus terminal access
Full disabled access
Fuel facilities to be available to the public in the near future