By Ian Neubauer
South Australian companies looking for swish incentives that won’t cost the earth now have access to the Athena — the first cruise liner to be based in Adelaide.
Operated by Classic International Cruises, the Athena berthed for the first time in the South Australian capital this week to launch a maiden season that includes three-night getaways starting at $645 per person.
Named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, the 600-passenger liner will offer two round cruises in February plus two one-way cruises between Adelaide and Perth, Athena’s main summer base.
The Athena cruising into Adelaide this week
As Adelaide’s most frequent floating visitor this summer, the 16,000-ton ship will berth there three times this month and also make two visits to both Port Lincoln (Feb 5 and 10) and Kangaroo Island (two day visit on Feb 3 and 4 and a one-day visit on Feb 7).
Classic International Cruises’ managing director – Australia, Grant Hunter, said the seven visits to SA ports during Athena’s maiden season in the State this month would deliver more than $1.3 million in economic benefits to the state.
“Many interstate tourists will also be staying in South Australia before or after their cruises aboard Athena so the flow on tourism boost for the State is significant,” he said.
“Despite, or maybe because of, the financial slowdown, cruising remains an extremely popular holiday option. Travellers are seeking more economical holidays and that’s exactly what cruising offers, with a three-night getaway on Athena available from just $645 including all meals and entertainment.”
Originally a transatlantic liner and often described as a yacht, the Athena delivers a 3½-star cruise experience, with traditional wooden deck chairs, a pool, fitness centre and sauna, five bars and lounges, nightclub, show lounge, casino, library, boutiques, cinema and two restaurants.