Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

September 30th 2008
Sunsea closes operations to the Reef

Passengers aboard the Sunsea Cruise Sunsea Cruises has announced that it has been forced to cease its Great Barrier Reef day tours on 12 October 2008, after ongoing business evaluations determined that it is not financially viable to continue operation.

According to Sunferries, the parent company of Sunsea, despite increased patronage, rising fuel costs and other associated business costs have deflected any financial gains. Unpredictable weather conditions and subsequent cancellations have also been detrimental to the reef operation's success.

Darin McDonald, General Manager of Sunferries, said that the decision had not been made lightly and every effort had been made to sustain the financial losses for as long as possible.

All six full time Sunsea Cruises staff have been offered alternative positions within the business, and Mr McDonald praised the commitment staff have shown to the reef operation and their passion for enhancing the customer experience.

"It's been a very difficult decision to make and very disappointing for our staff and the region's tourism industry, but ultimately we had to make a business decision.

"Sunferries certainly remains committed to the North Queensland tourism industry and we will continue to focus on our key growth areas such as our ferry services to Magnetic Island and Palm Island" Mr McDonald said.

Sunsea Cruises will continue to operate five days per week to Kelso Reef until the final scheduled service on Sunday 12 October, and locals are encouraged to take the opportunity to visit this pristine reef and experience the abundance of marine life and fauna.

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Sunsea closes operations to the Reef
 
4 comments
 
Anthony
October 1st 2008
So very disapointed that this has happend only hope it may be another opening for another operater all for Fantasy such a profetional company lets hope they cease the moment
 
David J
October 1st 2008
The cessation of reef tours from Townsville sounds an ominous warning for all tourist related businesses including island residents who ultimatley rely on the cash flows generated by tourists. Many people visit Townsville and Magnetic Island for the opportunity to sample tropical treats and visit the reef. With the option of a reef visit removed, I fear travellers will simply choose another location such as Cairns and spend their hard earned dollars there. I would argue that no one in Townsville or the Island is isolated from tourisms rewards, and it is key industries such as these, that although not overly profitable for an individual company, are an important element to the plans and success of many more. Once its gone, the harder to restart and build the reputation already in existence. No winners here. Regards to all. David J
 
wanakasjk@gmail.com
October 4th 2008
My family and I visited Magnetic Island last winter and our trip to the reef was cancelled day after day due to strong winds. We then opted for the day out in that wacky Blue Jeep. I was the only one in the family who was reluctant to go initially but boy oh boy I am glad we did it. The Jeep trip was the best day out our family has EVER had and living in a place like Wanaka we have had plenty of great days out beleive me. The stretched Jeep trip made us fall in love with Magnetic Island and its what will make us come back again (and maybe again). Thats saying something I can assure you as we live in Kiwi paradise.
 
John Kelly
October 9th 2008
I was taling abouit this over dinner last night and my kids said to say hello to Keith our fabulous tour guide. Thanks again for an awesome day matey.


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