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Prom cruises set for 2018

 

THE first of the new cruises to operate from Wilsons Promontory National Park will not depart until October 2018.

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys of Tasmania will run the eco boat tours from Tidal River, creating 30 new jobs over five years and injecting $9.7 million into the local economy.

Business owner Robert Pennicott said the world-first amphibious boats were yet to be built, but would able to be driven onto the beach and the wheels retracted when the boats enter the water.

“I believe Wilsons Promontory is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I feel privileged to be able do these cruises,” he said.

Cruises will take in the Prom coast south of Norman Beach, Skull Rock and other islands, and showcase dolphins and seabirds, with informative talks, during the two and a half hour to three hour journey.

Cruises will run every day throughout the year apart from Christmas Day, with one cruise during quieter periods and three cruises a day during peak periods.

Mr Pennicott said the boats would launch from the beach where Tidal River meets the sea, where he said boats were currently launched.

“It really is a beautiful part of the world and we will make sure that we look after it,” he said.

Fare costs are yet to be determined but Mr Pennicott said fares would be similar to the company’s Tasmania cruises, which charge adults $135 and children $75.

Boats will be stored in an existing shed at Tidal River, to be leased from Parks Victoria.

Tourism body Destination Gippsland welcomed the Victorian Government’s recent approval of the eco boat tours, and believed the cruises would benefit South Gippsland’s tourism industry, while promoting the value of the national park.

Destination Gippsland chair Steve Hibbard said, “A tour like this, operated by the highly reputable Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, will provide many long term economic, environmental and social benefits to the state.

“Pennicott Wilderness Journeys have won multiple Australian Tourism Awards and has a strong history of giving back to the parks and communities they operate in.

“These tours will enhance the visitor experience by offering a unique, world class opportunity for all visitors to witness the spectacular marine environment of Wilsons Promontory National Park.

“This is also a positive sign that Gippsland and all of regional Victoria are open for business and it will encourage additional high quality investments in our thriving visitor economy. There are many tourism opportunities across the state we hope will be advanced on the back of this decision.”
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys is an internationally recognised and multi-award winning ecotourism boat operator based in Tasmania, with more than 18 years of experience operating at Bruny Island, Port Arthur and Hobart.

Out there: Pennicott Wilderness Journeys expects to operate its first eco boat tour at Wilsons Promontory National Park in October 2018. The company will have new amphibious boats built for the cruises. Photo: Facebook.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22540

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