After a difficult and smoke-filled summer, Batemans Bay businesses opened their arms to visitors from the cruise ship Seabourn Encore which spent the day anchored off Batemans Bay on Tuesday.
More than 500 passengers and crew started arriving on shore at the town jetty aboard four tenders from 8:30 am and had until 4:30 pm to explore the town and environs.
The Eurobodalla visitor information team greeted the passengers as they disembarked and guided them on how they could spend their day in the Bay.
“This is a great boost for Batemans Bay and the whole region at a difficult time,” Tourism Manager Tim Booth said.
“Some had already pre-booked tours with Region X kayaking, South Coast seaplanes, Clyde River Cruises and Narooma e-bikes.”
President of the Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce Alison Miers said the cruise ship passengers would support the area’s recovery.
“What a nice boost to the Batemans Bay economy having an extra 500 visitors coming to eat and shop in our town after a very difficult summer,” Ms Miers said.
“If everyone spends $100 during the day, then the benefits to local business really add up.”
Most of the passengers were from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Speaking to About Regional at the wharf, Maria, Janie and Myleen from the United States said “Batemans Bay was a really pretty town”.
It is the second time the ship had visited the Bay. The Seabourn Encore was on a 16-day one-way cruise. Departing from Auckland on Monday, 20 January, the ship ended its cruise in Sydney on 5 February.