On Thursday November 27 2014, the South West city of Busselton and the surrounding Margaret River region welcomed the first wave of passengers from cruise ship Diamond Princess as part of an ongoing trial schedule of shore excursions through the 2014 summer and to be continued through 2015.
Thanks to solid collaboration between the City of Busselton, The Geographe Bay Tourism Association (GBTA), the Busselton Chamber of Commerce (BCCI), the Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce (DYCCI), residents and business owners in the region, the city was well prepared to greet the new arrivals as they began to disembark.
Over 1000 passengers were welcomed ashore by dedicated and enthusiastic team of 100 volunteers providing tourism and service based information as they wandered Busselton or utilised the shuttle service to Dunsborough.
After receiving a brief overview of the highlights of Busselton and the Margaret River Region on board the ships, another 800 cruise passengers enjoyed a wide range of activities throughout the region including visits to wineries, breweries, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Ngilgi Cave and many more locations via pre-booked shore excursions.
Feedback was collected from the passengers by the volunteers on a range of topics. The responses from passengers were overwhelmingly positive, and a large majority expressed a desire to return to the region to continue exploring the south west.