Minister Michelle O’Byrne has announced that the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority has secured its iconic harbour cruise service for the next decade.
Ms O’Byrne said following a comprehensive tendering process, Port Arthur Cruises has been awarded the contract and will continue to provide the service through until 2022.
“One of the most popular and distinctive of all the experiences available to visitors at the Port Arthur Historic Site, the Harbour Cruise has been operated by the family-owned company since 1985.”
Ms O’Byrne said that the PAHSMA Board had rigorously tested the market place through an open tender process and Port Arthur Cruises was found to best meet the Authority’s future requirements.
“The harbour cruise is one of the most unusual, enjoyable and popular elements of the Port Arthur Experience, carrying in excess of 200,000 visitors to the site every year.
“Given Port Arthur’s success as a key Tasmanian tourism destination, there was interest from other operators. The tender process gave all interested a level playing field on which to make their case, and the successful tenderer was the one that best met the Authority’s criteria.”
Ms O’Byrne congratulated Port Arthur Cruises, a long-established family company operated by brothers Peter, John and Michael Roche. Their family has been a fixture on Hobart’s waterfront since the 1940s.
“Should the nomination of the Historic Site to the World Heritage List be successful, Port Arthur Cruises plan to negotiate continual improvement of the visitor experience with the possible introduction of a second vessel to cater for increasing visitor demand and provide a variety of new cruises from the Site,” Ms O’Byrne said.