Cruise

Queensland welcomes new cruise operator on Sunshine Coast

The rich Indigenous heritage and spectacular coastline of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are set to be celebrated with the launch of a new cruise operator.

Operating from Mooloolaba, Saltwater Eco Tours is using a century-old historic timber sailing vessel, Spray of the Coral Coast, to showcase the Sunshine Coast’s Indigenous heritage and marine beauty.

Each tour will have an Indigenous storyteller on board to share the stories, traditions and culture of the Sunshine Coast’s original Indigenous inhabitants and first eco custodians, the Kabi Kabi people (who were originally known as the ‘Saltwater People’).

Saltwater Eco Tours is the brainchild of Simon Thornalley, a young Indigenous man of Torres Strait Island descent.

Thornalley spent his life sailing through the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Straits as a child, honing his skills before gaining his Commercial Master Class 5 licence, which took him across many oceans, including six cruises to Antarctica as first officer on a charter vessel.

Thornalley has incorporated his love for the marine environment, his cultural heritage, and his passion for sailing by launching a series of tours aboard Spray of the Coral Coast.

The two-hour ‘Cultural Tour’ takes passengers to sites of cultural significance and places where Dreamtime stories and songs originated. Large numbers of sea birds, turtles, and dolphins can be spotted along the way.

There will be storytelling, didgeridoo and entertainment provided by Indigenous guides during the two-hour cruise, along with bush-tucker inspired catering accompanied by a local craft beer or sparkling wine.

Operating three times daily each weekend, adult tickets for the Cultural Tour cost $120, and tickets for children’s tickets are $79.

The two-hour ‘Sunset Acoustic Tour’ operates on Saturday and Sunday evenings, combining a dramatic sunset, soft acoustic music, a selection of grazing platters and a local craft beer as the vessel cruises the waterways, taking in nocturnal wildlife, fishing vessels and the setting sun. Adult prices are $55 per person.

Saltwater Eco Tours also offers private charters of two to four hours, which can accommodate a wide range of requirements including custom catering, live music and storytelling.

The vessel can cater for 35 passengers, but is restricting numbers to 20 currently, to adhere to its COVID-19 safety plan.

Saltwater Eco Tours founder Simon Thornalley (source: Tourism and Events Queensland/Jenna Griffiths)

Commenting on the new venture, Thornalley said: “I am honoured and proud to launch a business that encompasses my passion for culture, as well as maritime history and sailing.

“Sustainable tourism plays a crucial role in today’s society, and in the year of Indigenous tourism, I am excited to launch Saltwater Eco Tours on the Sunshine Coast.”

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones welcomed the launch of Saltwater Eco Tours.

“There’s more demand than ever for authentic ecotourism and Indigenous cultural experiences in Queensland,” she said.

“COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our tourism industry. We need new experiences like Saltwater Eco Tours to entice visitors back to the Sunny Coast and share the message that we’re good to go in Queensland.”


Featured image source: Tourism and Events Queensland/Daniel Barker

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

South Australia set to open its border to Victorians

It looks like ScoMo’s plan for domestic borders to be open by Chrissy is well on track, with the crow-eaters finally letting those from the Garden State back over their side of the fence.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Rob Thompson named Tourism Fiji’s acting CEO

While the search for Tourism Fiji’s next leader is well underway, the organisation has revealed who will be keeping the CEO’s seat warm.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

WORLD FIRST: Aeronology to launch independent full-service platform for mobile travel agents

Are you a mobile agent in the market for a new platform to help you rebound your business with ease? This travel tech company has got your back.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Global travel association brings another back from the dead (well, sort of)

Utterly confused by this story’s headline? Click ahead to minimise your bewilderment.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agents now required to collect passenger information for COVID-safe travel

The government has finally recognised the crucial role agents can play in COVID tracing with this new measure.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea to show off biggest-ever itinerary release with exclusive webinar

The ultra-luxury cruise line’s sales team have been sharpening their webinar presentation skills in anticipation of this exclusive event.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas wins appeal over workers’ sick pay

The airline will not be required to pay stood-down workers sick pay, including a man who has been battling cancer and another with heart disease.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline pilots turn flight path into penis and balls in support of disgraced football captain

Flight trackers around the world were left clutching at their pearls when they discovered this strange symbol in a low-cost airline’s flight path.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Rocky Mountaineer to introduce new route in Southwest US

The luxe rail company has just unveiled a new route for 2021! So, get your train fanatic clients ready to TOOT TOOT their way through the US!

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

TTC is hosting a bunch of free virtual events to get your clients booking domestic

Keep your client keen to book their next domestic trip with this handy video series from The Travel Corporation.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qatar charges airport police officers over invasive searches of women

Qatari authorities have filed criminal charges against police officers working at Hamad International Airport following allegations women were invasively searched there last month.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

New report reveals the countries Aussies are most reluctant to visit now

by Huntley Mitchell

Are you finding some international destinations harder to sell than others right now? This new research might help explain why.

Share

CommentComments