May 09, 2018

Delegates from London, Hong Kong, Tahiti and Florida will get the VIP treatment during the Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) familiarisation tour which will showcase the best the Great Barrier Reef Region has to offer during May. 

The annual event promotes the region to the superyacht industry and will include tailor-made luxury tours from Lizard Island down to the Whitsunday Islands.

“We have a spectacular line-up of events and tours for our visitors this year,” SYGGBR Chairman Carrie Carter said. “And we are now inviting industry leaders to join us to promote the Great Barrier Reef region to international super yachts, their owners and their guests.” 

The four delegates - Sophia Wilson, Travel Editor with Boat International, London; Susan Harris, Charter Manager / Director Worldwide Boat, Florida; Coriandre Bredin, Superyacht Agent with Seal Superyachts in Tahiti; and Carmen Stratton, Managing Director & Board Director with Camper & Nicholsons Asia – will be based in Cairns for four days before heading south, for tours of Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays. 

Accompanying the delegates, the SYGGBR have been fortunate enough to secure the attendance of special guests: Courtney Barry - Tourism Australia Global Manager – Campaigns, Karen Fitzgerald - Tourism Australia Global Manager – Experiences, and MaryAnne Edwards of Superyacht Australia. 

“It’s an exciting itinerary which we have really been able build on this year with support from Cairns Regional Council, Tourism Australia and Superyacht Australia,” Ms Carter said. “We have also been able to broaden our reach to include events with Abell Point Marina and Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, two of our new SYGGBR corporate members.” 

The overseas visitors, who will arrive in Cairns on May 15, will stay in luxury accommodation on board local hero super yacht, Motor Yacht My Spirit, near the stunning Cairns Marlin Marina which looks out to the Great Barrier Reef and is surrounded by World Heritage-listed rainforest.

From Wednesday they will take part in a Superyacht Forum and a tour of the world-class Great Barrier Reef International Maritime College, which offers maritime training in accordance with national and international regulatory requirements. 

“The college comes complete with full mission bridge and tug optimised simulators, an immersion pool, a firefighting and damage control training facility and engineering workshops,” Ms Carter said 

Following the campus tour, the overseas visitors will then be,whisked off by helicopter to Port Douglas with a flyover tour of Mossman Gorge. A tour and cocktails at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina will be followed by lunch at Thala Beach Resort. 

The day finishes up with a Cocktail Party attended by the Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning at the waterfront venue Salt House, which will draw together prominent Cairns dignitaries, SYGGBR members and visiting super yacht crew. 

Thursday will be an amazing experience for delegates flown to Lizard Island for a day of snorkelling and diving the outer, most scenic Ribbon Reefs. 

Back on land, Friday will include a trip with Skyrail to Barron Falls Estate Rainforest Journey. A farewell cocktail party will finish off the Cairns leg of the journey on board luxury super yacht My Spirit with VIP guests and sponsors. 

“Our region is truly a premier destination for superyachts the world over,” Ms Carter said. “We have everything they need: perfect location, perfect weather, perfectly safe and a perfect home port to explore down under.

“Here you can dock right next to a vibrant tropical city, have quick access to an international airport, take advantage of world-class shipyards, and just nestle in to spectacular natural surroundings.”

But the famil doesn’t end in Cairns. Delegates will then be flown to the stunning Whitsundays to experience the best the destination has to offer visiting superyachts.

The experience will include a scenic heli-flight over the iconic Heart Reef, lunch overlooking the Whitsunday islands at Hamilton Island golf club, a tour of luxury Qualia resort then a unique on-water stay and dine experience courtesy of hosts Abell Point Marina. 

The following day they will take in the stunning Whitehaven Beach and cruise the Whitsunday islands before being flown to Brisbane for the ASMEX Conference supported by Superyacht Australia. 

Kate Purdie, general manager of Abell Point Marina explains “the diversity of the cruising grounds, marina facilities and superyacht support services available to visiting vessels in the Great Barrier region is world-class. To showcase our region to the international superyacht industry strengthens the Great Barrier Reef destination focus and highlights the cruising potential of this region for visiting superyachts.”

“None of this can be put together without solid backing and team work from our sponsors, such as Cairns Regional Council, Cairns Marlin Marina, Abell Point Marina, Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, Spirit Luxury Charters, Ocean Independence, Independent Aviation, Lizard Island, Tourism Australia, Superyacht Australia, Great Barrier Reef Int. Marine College, Barron Falls Estate, Mt Uncle Distillery, Three Wolves, Targa GBR, the Salt House, Nautilus Aviation, Tjapukai, Thala Beach Resort, Reef Hotel Casino and Skyrail.” Ms Carter said. 

“Our combined efforts both here and around Australia continue to grow a strong national superyacht market, with economic impact forecasts seeing a potential contribution of $1.12 billion to GDP by 2021, for a total contribution of $3.34 billion.” 

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning welcomed the opportunity to showcase the region through the upcoming famil.  “Cairns’ reputation is growing as both a destination and as a maintenance hub for super yachts,” he said.  “Last year, we welcomed 71 vessels for a total of 4716 days in port, compared to just 618 days in 2014. That’s a seven-fold increase in just three years.  “This is testament to the great work being done by the SYGGBR in that time. We look forward to joining with SYGGBR to welcome our international guests.”

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