Tourist cruises resume on the River Murray
In an encouraging sign of post-flood recovery, the Murray Princess, Proud Mary and Captain Proud have all resumed cruising in and out of Murray Bridge.
In an encouraging sign of post-flood recovery, the riverboats Murray Princess, Proud Mary and Captain Proud have all resumed cruising in and out of Murray Bridge.
With trees having fallen over and banks collapsed, there is even an opportunity for passengers to see new landscapes and waterscapes.
Captain Proud managing director Daniel Gilmore said that since the vessel resumed cruises a week-and-a-half ago, passengers had been able to see unusual sights.
“Looking into the backwaters where some of the levees have been breached … would be a good sight for people who don’t live in the region,” he said.
Two such people were Phil and Rae Parry, from Hervey Bay in Queensland, who took a river cruise on the Captain Proud on Wednesday.
“It was good with the water up,” Mr Parry said.
“The cruise was lovely,” Mrs Parry added.
Meanwhile, the Murray Princess, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest inland paddlewheeler, resumed cruising on Friday after being moored at Mannum for almost four months.
The Murray Princess will once again berth in front of Murray Bridge’s Round House, and a smaller boat will ferry passengers to the lower timber wharf nearby.
Tracy Croft, a spokeswoman for Sealink, which owns the Princess, said her return would boost the Murraylands’ economy.
“Having the Murray Princess return to operation … means thousands of visitors will again be returning to (river) towns over coming months, at a time when their support is most needed to kickstart recovery,” she said.
“We work with over 30 local businesses – including suppliers, offshore touring operators and destinations – and our cruises will give these businesses guaranteed and consistent trade.”
Matthew Sims, co-owner of river vessel Proud Mary, said his staff and passengers had been pleased to be back cruising on the River Murray since February.
“About 80 per cent of our business comes from interstate customers, but when COVID hit, we had to change our business model and attract people from South Australia,” he said.
“Our passengers were super-happy, and then the floods hit – but we retained 85% of our bookings during this time, and we’re booked out for the next six months.
“The passengers have a fascination in terms of seeing where the water level got to and the flooded wetlands.”
so happy both are back on the river and revue for their companies and tourist will be stoked too