Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who wants to cage dive with Great White sharks?

TOURISTS are paying more than $10,000 for a luxury cruise of South Australia, which includes diving with Great White sharks and dining on Coffin Bay oysters.

The inaugural tour, from North Star Cruises, leaves Outer Harbour tomorrow, visiting the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the Eyre Peninsula before arriving in Ceduna on January 25.
About 28 guests are expected on the 50m long cruise ship, True North, which has its own helicopter and carries six expedition vessels with about 18 crew members.

Guests are paying between $6995 and $10,495, for the cruise.

The trip from the luxury wilderness cruise company, based most of the year in the Kimberley, is believed to be the first of its type in SA. The company is so confident the SA tour will be a success, it has added the tour to its January itinerary each year.

Local tourism leaders have welcomed the seven-day/eight-night Southern Safari saying it combines luxury and nature experiences which are important for attracting high yield interstate and international tourists.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Andrew McEvoy said "unspoilt wilderness and unique coastal experiences are two of South Australia's key strengths as a tourism destination, but many visitors don't want to have to rough it".

Drew Kluska, who runs Adelaide-based, prestige travel agency Outback Encounter, said it was "pretty unusual to get a boat like this into South Australia".

Highlights include wine tasting in McLaren Vale, a visit to Kangaroo Island, shark cage diving off the Gambier Islands and Coffin Bay oysters.


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