Float your boat in Territory-style farewell

Darwin fishos, families and boat owners will have the opportunity to witness the largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia with the ‘Ovation of the Seas’ docking for the day on Tuesday, 28 February.

To mark the significance of the occasion, Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss has announced a ‘Farewell Flotilla’ enabling Territorians to jump in their boats and wave goodbye from the water.

“The cruise ship market is of growing importance to the tourism industry – it’s helped create jobs and that is why my Government wants to show support to this industry,” Ms Moss said.

“The Ovation of the Seas measures 348 metres long, weighs almost 170,000 gross tonnes and carries 6000 people on board (4500 passengers, 1500 crew) making it a spectacular sight for those ready to watch from the water.

“The Farewell Flotilla is one of many activities being planned for the big day, which is expected to inject an estimated $1.2 million into the local economy and provide a bumper trade for local retailers and tourism businesses.

“We’re working hard to position Darwin as an attractive cruise ship destination to ensure we maximise the economic benefits of cruise visits.

“The cruise industry is a key part of our plan to build a $2.2 billion visitor economy in the Northern Territory by 2020.”

The traditional water canon salute will welcome the Ovation of the Seas when it is expected to arrive at Fort Hill Wharf at approximately 8:00am.

Those interested in the Farewell Flotilla have been asked to launch from the Dinah Beach Boat Ramp and gather at Stokes Hill Wharf before 5:00pm to watch the ‘Ovation’ sail off into the sunset.

“Territorians love their boats, so what better way to give the Ovation of the Seas a Top End send off than with a fleet of Territory tinnies,” Ms Moss said.

“Throughout the day, music, entertainment and pop-up stalls are also planned as Darwin rolls out the welcome mat to ensure the ‘Ovation’s’ 4,500 guests have a stay to remember.”

Launched in April 2016, the $1 billion Ovation of the Seas boasts the world’s first Bionic Bar (where robots prepare and deliver drinks), a 90 metre glass observation viewing capsule, surfing experiences and indoor sky diving.

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