THE Rhyll Community Association and its residents are excited to hear of the imminent arrival in their beautiful fishing village of the Golden Princess Cruise Ship, the second of four cruise ship arrivals to Phillip Island for the 2016/17 season.
The ship will arrive on Tuesday, January 17 at noon and depart at 11pm, with passengers travelling from the ship to the Rhyll Jetty on tenders, from where they will disembark to explore the Island.
Rhyll has long been recognised as one of the most protected anchorages on Phillip Island, having been established in the 1860s as a fishing village.
President of the Rhyll Community Association, Judy Lawrence, is thrilled at the opportunity to welcome visitors to Bass Coast.
“We’ll pull out all the stops; one thing the Rhyll community is known for is its hospitality,” Ms Lawrence said.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, said it was an exciting time for Bass Coast to have cruise ships visit.
“There are so many amazing attractions on the Island and mainland,” Cr Rothfield said.
“One day spent in the region will be a tantalising taste of what we have to offer and will leave our visitors wanting to come back to experience more.”
The Golden Princess boasts 1318 passenger staterooms that can host up to 2600 guests at any one time – double the size of Melbourne’s largest hotel, the Crown Metropol.
Stretching 290 metres, the Golden Princess is one and a half times as long as the MCG and more than eight Melbourne trams in length.
It includes up to 1100 crew members and it is estimated more than 2500 people disembarked during its last visit to Phillip Island.
To support the cruise ship onshore experience, Kim Storey, the general manager of Destination Phillip Island Regional Tourism said a welcoming vibe from locals, traders, restaurants and cafes is essential.
“We encourage all businesses to brief their staff and consider who may be visiting this day.
“It is important that passengers feel welcomed, and research reveals those having a positive experience are most likely to return to the destination in the future.
“The ship also surveys passengers on their port experiences and to further grow these visits, Phillip Island needs to roll out the red carpet welcome.
“These visits provide a significant injection into the local economy and we want to ensure Phillip Island is able to secure more visits from this growing market.”
Coaches will run regular transfers to Cowes during the day and passengers will join a range of pre-booked tours sold by the on-board agent. Destination Phillip Island expects there will be lots of passengers exploring the region given the large numbers who disembarked last visit.
With the extended timing of the visit, there are lots of opportunities for shopping, eating and exploring the Island.
The ship will still anchor in the designated Cowes anchorage area but will be further east of its last anchorage.
Following the last visit by the cruise ship, meetings have been held with Destination Phillip Island, Bass Coast Shire Council, Parks Victoria, Inchcape, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Intercruises, Harbour Master and local operators to ensure that Phillip Island delivers the optimum experience for the visits.
Based on feedback from the last visit, the Rhyll site will be used to improve accessibility for passengers from the tenders and to the coach transfers.
“We are confident the Rhyll community will embrace the opportunity to host the ships tenders and welcome visitors to the village,” Cr Rothfield said.
Talks are underway with the Rhyll Community Association and local businesses on how they can get involved.
Car parking at the Jetty will be restricted for coach transfers and information stands.
Parks Victoria will close part of the jetty for the day to enable access for the tenders.
There are opportunities for businesses to provide services to passengers from the Rhyll site.
Contact Frank Angarane from the Bass Coast Shire Council on 5671 2439 to discuss the possibilities.
The council’s coordinator of Visitor Services, Jenni McMillan, along with volunteers from the Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre will be putting together a display of local information and is happy to distribute special offers from local traders to entice passengers to explore the region.
Contact Visitor Services on 5956 7447.

Coming cruise ship arrivals:
• Tuesday, January 17, noon to 11pm, Golden Princess
• Saturday, February 4, 8am to 11pm, Seabourn Encore
• Saturday, February 18, noon to 11pm,  Golden Princess.