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Record breaking day for Port Arthur


The World Heritage Listed Port Arthur Historic Site recorded the highest visitor numbers on record yesterday. Between visitors by land and by sea, a total of 3814 broke the recent record of December 2013 by over 1100.

These visitation levels are particularly poignant given that this time last year, the site was in the midst of the bushfire emergency and was closed for ten days.

The Dawn Princess berthed yesterday morning beneath an overcast, moody sky for its fifth day of seven circumnavigating Tasmania. No less than 1731 passengers and crew keen to explore the Site and the local region disembarked and were joined by more than 2000 other visitors, many of whom were passengers aboard the Diamond Princess which berthed in Hobart yesterday morning.

Director of Tourism Operations, Anne McVilly was particularly delighted with the outcome, “This is the fifth of nine cruise ships we have hosted at Port Arthur this season. Handling these volumes of visitors on such a regular basis has enabled us to refine and streamline some of our operations and ensure that all visitors are given good service. For example, we have provided additional outdoor food, beverage and retail outlets, which has alleviated pressure on the visitor centre making for a better experience for our visitors.

‘We’re also delighted to see that many of the cruise ship visitors opt to explore out into the region which obviously gives the local economy a boost., she said.  A number of passengers from Dawn Princess took tours that visited the World Heritage-listed Coal Mines Historic Site, and others took tours visiting other local scenic spots.

The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site is also enjoying the highest visitor numbers to date this summer.

“We are having a terrific season and there is a noticeable increase in our numbers when there is a ship docked in Hobart. While the Her Story dramatised walking tour is as popular as ever, our revamped Heritage Tour is growing in popularity, “said Cascade Female Factory Manager, Greta McDonald.

Tuesday February 11 will see similar circumstances with the arrival of the Pacific Pearl at Port Arthur and two other ships docked in Hobart. The Port Arthur Historic Sites look forward to welcoming these visitors and are prepared for what will hopefully be another record breaking day.