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Cruise ban has far reaching impacts even to Lord Nelson and the Thirsty Frog!

February 20, 2021 Cruise News No Comments

The impact of the cruise ban in Australia is having very far reaching impacts including all the suppliers of products and services to cruise ships and the farm producers and suppliers of all the food that ships need, but one might never have imagined the cruise ban impacting as far as Lord Nelson…well it has and let me explain!

In its remarkable 179-year history, Sydney’s Lord Nelson Hotel located in the heart of Sydney’s historic The Rocks, has survived a bubonic plague outbreak in the city and the deadly post WW1 Spanish Flu as it now fights like its heroic namesake admiral to overcome the massive impact of the current pandemic on Australia’s tourism gateway.

The Rocks and the Lord Nelson Hotel are tourism mecca that normally see a constant flow of international visitors, interstate holidaymakers and cruise passengers, but businesses in the historic Rocks area have been hit hard by the suspension of international travel, interstate border closures and the worldwide pause in cruising.

These businesses that are so dependent on tourism’s value chain, are all looking forward to better days and a local revival with the anticipated carefully managed restart of cruising to help bring visitors streaming back, with as the iconic Lord Nelson Hotel Brewery and Sydney’s oldest licensed pub having first opened in 1842, it has faced a ‘triple whammy’ on its food and beverage operations, accommodation and the production of craft beers.

The Lord Nelson Hotel general manager Kristian Savio, said, “Even though the building itself has been through three plagues in its time, they always say that, if the walls could speak, we might have had some hints on what to do for this pandemic,” adding, “Unfortunately, the walls don’t speak so we, like everybody else, have had to adapt to the massive change”, and “We have never had to make changes on such a total scale but we have a ‘can do’ attitude to make things work. Our ethos is to deal with the impact internally while externally trying to give every appearance that it is business as usual.”

Located very to Circular Quay, the Lord Nelson Hotel already had a strong connection to cruising and its multiplier effect in terms of economic benefit, with Savio saying, “When it comes to cruise lines, we have people staying at the hotel prior to their cruise and after because we are in such close proximity to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, so it was a beautiful relationship”.

What is also very interesting is that the Lord Nelson Hotel also has an existing partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, one of seven cruise lines in the Carnival Australia group of brands, with the line’s signature Thirsty Frog Summer Ale that the hotel brewed exclusively for the line usually with pre pause Thirsty Frog Summer Ale served onboard locally based ships, Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor, with Jennifer Vandekreeke, Vice President and General Manager, Carnival Cruise Line Australia saying, “Since we first partnered nearly five years ago, Carnival Cruise Line has been lucky enough to bring the Lord Nelson name to over one million guests, and with more to come”, and “We have loved being a part of their story and it has been a pleasure to bring a piece of Sydney history to all of our guests,”

As Australia’s gateway to tourism battles on against the pandemic, businesses in The Rocks area and the wider CBD have the backing of the Sydney Business Chamber, with Chamber Executive Director Katherine O’Regan saying, the safe resumption of cruising was “vital for the economic recovery of The Rocks and the CBD,” adding, “The cruise industry has taken great care in devising Covid-safe measures to begin operating again,” and  “These will ensure a safe return for this multi-billion dollar industry that will benefit so many businesses including hospitality and retail in The Rocks, as well as boosting the city’s night time economy.”

At the Lord Nelson, Kristian Savio and his team are looking forward to the return of cruising and reconnecting with the Carnival Cruise Line ships and crew, with Savio saying, “We can’t wait to have that business kick off again not only for us but also to get the beer back on board and to be sailing again,” and “Even if it isn’t international guests and Australians only to begin with it would be fantastic to get some ‘seachange’ happening.”

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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