Cruise ship fails to dock at Fraser

UPDATE: The first southbound cruise ship to visit Fraser Island will not arrive until later this year.

The Pacific Eden was due to visit Fraser Island today, but suffered a technical issue which prevented the cruise ship's arrival.

P&O Cruises apologised to guests after the four-night cruise, which originated from Cairns, was unable to stop.

"Fraser Island has a defined tidal window to enable cruise ships to safely navigate to the anchorage to enable cruise visitors to go ashore in tender vessels," the statement said.

"A technical problem unfortunately slowed Pacific Eden's progress overnight resulting in the ship missing the tidal window for safe passage to the anchorage.

"Although the window was missed by less than 10 minutes, safe navigation is of paramount importance and there was no choice other than to cancel today's call.

"Guests have received onboard credit as a gesture of goodwill and to acknowledge their disappointment.

"In the meantime a full program of activities was available on board Pacific Eden and the crew was doing everything they could to ensure guests have an enjoyable day in spite of their understandable disappointment."

Group General Manager of the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group David Hay said the cancellation was disappointing but appreciated the "flexibility and understanding" of local operators. 

"The cancellation is disappointing however there are no certainties with cruise ship schedules, such is the nature of ocean-based travel," Mr Hay said.

"We appreciate the flexibility and understanding of the six local operators that we partner with to provide day-trip and touring options for the cruise ship guests that come into region.

"The good news is that there are still three more cruise ships scheduled to visit before Christmas, representing a significant increase on previous years and further opportunities for businesses on the Fraser Coast."

P&O's Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden visited Kingfisher Bay Resort in 2016, while five stops were scheduled for this year.

EARLIER: IT'S not something you see everyday on the Fraser Coast.  

If you're by the shoreline in Hervey Bay, you might get a glimpse of a cruise ship passing by.

More than 1000 passengers form Pacific Eden will take in the beauty of Fraser Island when the cruise ship visits the region on Thursday (October 5). 

The Fraser Coast cracked the lucrative cruise market in late 2015, with P&O's Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden each making stops at Fraser Island since the agreement was made.

Two stops were made at Kingfisher Bay Resort in 2016, while five were scheduled for this year.

A Kingfisher Bay Resort spokeswoman said more than 1000 passengers aboard the 219m ship were expected to disembark about 8am and spend the day enjoying a range of activities from helicopter flights and fishing trips to sightseeing across the island with Fraser Explorer Tours, jet skis, boat cruises, canoes and ranger-guided walks from the resort.

She said it was the first southbound cruise ship to visit Fraser Island, which was the only stop on the voyage from October 3 to 7.

The ship is scheduled to depart about 5pm and might be visible from Hervey Bay about 5.30pm today.