NEW DEVELOPMENT: Cruise Whitsunday chief executive officer Nick Hortle and site manager Steve Dench standing in front of the site where the new marina terminal will be built at Port of Airlie. It is scheduled to be completed in September this year.
NEW DEVELOPMENT: Cruise Whitsunday chief executive officer Nick Hortle and site manager Steve Dench standing in front of the site where the new marina terminal will be built at Port of Airlie. It is scheduled to be completed in September this year.

Work starts at new ferry terminal

CONSTRUCTION is now underway on the new Cruise Whitsundays terminal at Port of Airlie.

Cruise Whitsundays chief executive officer Nick Hortle said this was a major milestone for the project which had been in the planning for several years.

"It is very exciting to be seeing the first slabs poured and construction progressing on site after the detailed planning and approval process [that have] been taking place for the past two years," he said.

Mr Hortle said when construction was complete, Cruise Whitsundays would be moving into a state-of-the-art transit terminal "that we believe will benefit the whole region."

He said the terminal's facilities had been specifically designed to improve all aspects of the company's operations.

"And all of our crew are looking forward to moving in to the new terminal and [delivering] an even better experience," he said.

The new terminal's design is based on an airport-style check-in complete with baggage conveyor belts that aim to make the process of travelling more convenient for those with a lot of luggage.

The terminal will have airport-style check-in desks, a large café with indoor and outdoor eating areas, a gift shop and comfortable seated waiting area as well as custom-designed pontoons to house Cruise Whitsunday's fleet of vessels and a new fuel dock.

Mr Hortle said Cruise Whitsundays had worked very closely with stakeholders at Port of Airlie to integrate the terminal with all of the other facilities at the development, resulting in a greatly improved customer experience.

The terminal is located immediately across from the Whitsunday Regional Council bus and transit terminal and beside a new 170 space car park, to be constructed by Council prior to its opening.

The terminal will be opened and operational by September 2014.