What the cruise visitors thought of their Wollongong welcome: photos, video

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Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery welcomes the cruise ship passengers to Wollongong. Photo: Georgia MattsYour photos of Royal Caribbeancruise ship’s arrival‘We’re comingback’: maiden call to Gong just the start‘People told me you couldn’t do it’: why Leigh never gave upWhales off Flagstaff Hill help welcome Radiance of the SeasIsaac Burnett hasalways wanted to visit Australia.
Nanjing Night Net

What the 73-year-oldfrom the United Stateswouldn’t have expectedwas the extravagant welcome he receivedupon arrival at Wollongong’s Lang Park on Sunday.

Mr Burnett was one offirstpassengers from the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship to arrive at the park via a shuttle bus, just before 8.30am.

Wollongong lord mayor Gordon Bradbery hands Isaac Burnett – the first international cruise passenger to step off the bus at Lang Park – a welcome gift on behalf of the city. Picture: Andrew Pearson

He was also the first international cruise passenger to be welcomed to Wollongong by the city’s lord mayor Gordon Bradbery

Dozens of volunteers lined the footpath, clapping and cheering,as busloads of passengers made their way into afestival-like welcome event in the park.

What the cruise visitors thought of their Wollongong welcome: photos, video Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery welcomes the cruise ship passengers to Wollongong. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

A volunteer welcomes the cruise ship passengers to Wollongong. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Radiance of the Seas celebrations at Lang Park. Photo: Georgia Matts

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

Crowds gather to watch Radiance of the Seas cruise into Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Anna Warr

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“The world seems to be getting all angry towards one another more and more, but to see people acting like they’re doing today [Sunday], it makes you know that there’s still some hope and the good people outweigh the bad.”

Mr Burnettwas part of agroup of 14 people from the US aboard the cruise.

“It’s been a long time getting here. I’ve always wanted to come to Australia,” he said.

“It’s just amazing to be almost halfway around the world.”

After spending time at the welcome event, the group headedon a day tour that included a visit to the Nan Tien Temple.

The event at Lang Park provided passengers a one-stop snapshot of the plethora of activities on offer across the Illawarra.

Passengers who hadn’t pre-booked excursions were bussed to the park precinct, where they could explore more than 60 stores stalls –fromart and craft tofood, wine and entertainment.

Annie Peacock, from Horsley, was one of about 400volunteers who helped roll out the welcome mat for the visitors.

“It was really special. All the people had a big smile on their face,” Ms Peacock said.

“They probably wondered what on earth was going on at first. I think they were a bit taken aback …but on a whole it was just a fantastic feel.”

Earlier, the Royal Carribean cruise liner docked at Port Kembla amid much fanfare.

Doris Shields andDennis McHughtravelled from Bowral to watch the the Radiance of the Seas arrive.

Mr McHugh, 76, has worked on cargo ships at sea and said he “could never understand why Wollongong never took a cruise ship”.

“It’s such a central area; you’ve got the Southern Highlands, there’s so many places you can go from here tour-wise and I think for the economy of Wollongong it should have happened a long time ago,” he said.

The first cruise passengers have been welcomed to Wollongong’s Lang Park by Lord Mayor @gordonbradbery#[email protected]南京夜网/KBvOq9Xuit

— Andrew Pearson (@andrewrpearson) October 29, 2016Plenty of smiles as Wollongong rolls out the welcome matWollongong’s Flagstaff Hill and Lang Park precincts were abuzz with activity on Sunday, as hundreds gathered to catch a glimpse of Radiance of the Seas.

The cruise liner’s arrival in the citydrew large early-morning crowds to the beach-sidevantage points.

The ship was visible on the horizonshortlyafter 6am, albeitsomewhat masked by lingering cloudcover, and grew largeras it approached.

As the sun broke through,dozens of people watched from theTed Tobin observation deck asRadiance made a beeline for Port Kembla.

John La Riva, from Griffith, was among them.

“It’s a bit of history for Wollongong, to see the first cruise ship sail into Port Kembla. It’s pretty exciting,” Mr La Riva said.

Wollongong’s Michael Campbell was also upbeat.

“It appearsWollongong’s going all out to make these people feel welcome,” he said.

“[I’m] hoping the ship cruising lines will take this on board and produce many more of these events.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.