Cruise passengers clear on port status

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Pierra WillixBusselton Dunsborough Times
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Incoming cruise ship passengers have no doubt they are visiting Busselton, not Margaret River, according to cruise ship companies whose liners dock off Busselton.

Concerns about the way Busselton is advertised to incoming cruise ship passengers by cruise ship companies has been repeatedly addressed on social media, with some brochures advertising Margaret River as the port.

However cruise ship companies have said their passengers are clearly informed about where they are embarking.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 will dock at Busselton in February with a Cunard spokeswoman telling the Times the Busselton area was an attraction for guests, who were informed exactly where they were docking.

“Busselton is one of many attractive destinations that Cunard ships visit and we ensure guests are fully aware of what is on offer at each destination,” she said.

“In the case of Busselton, onboard destination briefings would include the many attractive features of the port itself and its importance as a gateway to the Margaret River district for cruise tourists.”

But guests are certainly left in no doubt that Busselton is an attractive destination in its own right.”

Cruise & Maritime Voyages began docking in Busselton for the first time this season, with its Astor liner scheduled to dock three times in the next few months.

A CMV spokeswoman said it had not received feedback from passengers about the way Busselton was advertised but said there had been no confusion because Busselton was clearly identified in their brochures and itineraries.

Jetty host Margaret Baxter, who has been greeting incoming passengers for the past three years, said any initial confusion about where passengers embarking had now been addressed.

“In the early days when the first ships were coming in there was a little confusion only because all of the advertising material was directed at Margaret River,” she said.

“However it didn’t take long for the cruise ship companies to understand that after feedback and that was all corrected on all brochures and advertising material.

“Once that happened there was no confusion at all and it was very clear for passengers they were embarking in Busselton in the Margaret River region.”

Princess Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd, which will both have liners dock in Busselton over the next year, did not respond to the Times questions by deadline.

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