PHOTOS: A look inside the MS Noordam cruise ship
ALMOST 2000 passengers and 800 crew stepped on to Gladstone's shores yesterday, as the first Holland America cruise ship, MS Noordam, docked at Auckland Point.
Stopping by on its way to Papua New Guinea from Sydney, the cruise line's first trip to Gladstone was marked by a civic welcoming ceremony at the regular Feast on East markets.
The MS Noordam's departure time was also different to previous ships', with the Feast on East markets staying open until 9pm, enabling the visitors to see Gladstone in a different light.
Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited CEO Darryl Branthwaite said the late departure time meant passengers could take advantage of local tours.
"The shore-based company that looks after all the day trips released a full suite of normal excursions," he said.
"So we have 100 people going down to Agnes Water.
"Because of the day and the strength of the wind, the actual (activities) on the harbour stuff has been cancelled but all the rest of it right around town are all still going ahead.
"We thought it would be quite different but these markets are open until 9pm."
The captain of the ship and the crew's welcome at the civic ceremony included a Welcome to Country as well as a national anthem performance by local school students.