The RACT has made a significant step forward in its commitment to growing regional tourism in Tasmania with the commissioning of a new vessel to cruise the iconic Gordon River.
To be built locally by Richardson Devine Marine, the yet-to-be-named vessel will replace Gordon River Cruises' existing vessel Lady Jane Franklin II.
Since taking over operation of Gordon River Cruises in 2014, we identified the need for a new vessel to take this visitor experience to the next level.
We have engaged Simon Currant, developer of the first two Gordon River Cruises vessels, to create an experience that will generate renewed interest in the iconic river experience and the West Coast as a tourism destination.
This vessel will be state-of-the-art in both design and environmental sustainability. It has been designed specifically for the Gordon River environment to reduce its impact on its surroundings.
It will deliver an unrivalled experience in our magnificent World Heritage wilderness area, offering the most environmentally sensitive river-cruising experience in a vessel of this size in Australia. Its smaller engines will burn less fuel, and the latest in marine technology will deliver the most efficient and low-emission cruising experience available.
Tasmanian entrepreneurs Hydrowood will supply responsibly sourced specialty timbers for the Upper Deck and Hobart-based culinary consultant David Quon has been engaged to craft a food program around the freshest local produce.
Interpretation of the Gordon River story will be delivered through enhanced storytelling, interpretation materials and appropriate use of the latest multi-language, multi-media communications technology.
Visitors will engage in a rich Tasmanian story, experiencing the cruise through floor-to-ceiling windows, automatically washed of salt for optimum viewing. The vessel will feature a 180-degree rear-viewing seating area and larger outside viewing decks, including a 360-degree view rooftop deck for all passengers to take in the scenery.
During the past 12 months we have made a large investment in the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery, which has been transformed to showcase Tasmanian artists and provide visitors with interactive and unique experiences. This is in addition to a major refurbishment of the dining experience at Cradle Mountain Hotel, creating a new direction with Altitude Restaurant + Lounge Bar.
We also continue with planning for new accommodation at Freycinet Lodge, which will provide sustainable, environmentally conscious development within Freycinet National Park.
We are acutely aware of our responsibilities to the environment and the community, and continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure these are developments for all of our futures.