An old friend returns

Article image - An old friend returns An old friend returns to Portland with a new name.

One of Portland’s old cruise season friends is returning next summer with a new look and new name.

The Vasco da Gama, named in recognition of the famous Portuguese explorer and navigator, will tour Victorian waters in summer and Asian and European waters in the Australian winter season.

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor, Anita Rank, said Portland was proud to welcome back the well-recognised cruise ship which had visited on a number of occasions over the years.

“It will include more than 1200 guests and 500 crew who will explore our local sights and attractions as part of a one day stopover.

“There are now seven vessels scheduled to arrive over the next two seasons with negotiations continuing with some of the world’s biggest cruise lines to lock in more bookings into the future.”

Council recently returned from the Australian Cruise Conference where Portland was marketed as Australia’s premier regional cruise destination, attracting interest from a number of global leaders.

Mayor Rank said continued high on-shore ratings, as high as 90 percent, were assisting to strengthen the region’s touring profile.

“It is testimony to the hard work of our dedicated volunteers and council staff who coordinate these on-shore visits, who provide a visit to remember. 

“We know people have returned, some even buying houses here, as a result of the welcoming experience they received by our community, falling in love with our lifestyle and town.

“Our staff are working hard to make the 2019 experience even one step better, to ensure this high profile continues to grow.”