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Boxing Day boost cruises in on Regatta
Boxing Day boost cruises in on Regatta

The Boxing Day arrival of more than 1,200 cruise passengers and crew will serve as a belated Christmas gift for businesses across Townsville North Queensland this Festive season. Top of Form  Oceania Cruises’ Regatta will sail into Townsville this Boxing Day to a welcome party including local markets, live music, and entertainment.   Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said the Port was delighted to be sharing the holidays with cruise visitors, who will come predominantly from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.  “To have Regatta’s passengers and crew joining us this Boxing Day is a timely reminder of the way shipping connects our region to the rest of the world, enriching lives both locally and globally,” said Ms Crosby.  “Shipping through the Port of Townsville continues 24/7, 365 days a year. The minerals and metals we export have helped to create the Christmas gifts people exchange, the fuel we import will help power North Queenslanders’ Summer holidays, and dinner tables around the world will feature produce farmed in our region.”   Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the city was built on the back of the port.  “Whether it’s cruise ships and tourism or traditional cargo exports and imports, the Port of Townsville supports thousands of jobs directly and indirectly,” he said.  Townsville Enterprise Director Visitor Economy and Marketing, Lisa Woolfe said Regatta’s arrival into Townsville during the Christmas season is a welcome boost to the local economy.  “The 2023-2024 cruise season is the biggest seen in the Townsville North Queensland region, contributing a total of $4.7 million to the economy, with 18 ships docking into the Port of Townsville from November until April 2024,” said Ms Woolfe.  “Cruise is an integral contributor to our visitor economy and extends our seasonal holiday calendar each year, bringing visitors from far and wide to experience an authentic Australian summer in the region.”  “Passengers and crew onboard the Regatta have certainly come at a special time of year and will be a welcome boost for local dining, retail, tour and transport operators – a true example of the gift of travel that we encourage every Christmas holiday season,” she said.  “Shore excursions will include local attractions such as Magnetic Island, Billabong Sanctuary and of course the iconic Strand foreshore.”  Regatta is due into Port at 9am on Boxing Day. The best place for locals to see the vessel appear on the horizon is from 7am at the Breakwater Wall near the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.

Port moves to Condition YELLOW as Cyclone Jasper preparations continue

The Port of Townsville has moved to Condition YELLOW in preparation for Tropical Cyclone Jasper. The Port remains operational and there has been no disruption to shipping activities at this stage, however channel widening has been suspended due to unfavourable sea conditions.  High winds may impact shipping movements over the next 24 hours. The Port is continuing to monitor updates from the Bureau of Meteorology. Vessels are being advised by the Regional Harbour Master. Current cyclone preparations being conducted at the Port of Townsville include: Minimising cargo heights on berths and laydown areas Removing equipment from tidal surge or flood prone areas Implementing tie-down plans for cranes and shiploaders, securing buildings and clearing debris; and Continued monitoring and consultation with Port users. Port of Townsville General Manager Customer, Operations and Safety, Drew Penny said the Port was well prepared for wild weather should it eventuate over the coming days. “The Port of Townsville begins its cyclone preparedness on 1 November each year and has a well-defined plan for moving through the various stages of cyclone preparedness,” said Mr Penny. “We are continuing to implement precautionary measures in-line with advice from the Bureau of Meteorology and are working closely with Maritime Safety Queensland and Port users to ensure proper preparedness as we move to Condition YELLOW.” The Port continues to follow advice from Bureau of Meteorology, Townsville Local Disaster Management Group and the Regional Harbour Master.