Tuesday 2 December 2014
Twenty five years ago SeaLink began, taking over the Philanderer III ferry service to Kangaroo Island.
Today SeaLink Travel Group is a multi-million dollar publicly listed company which owns businesses across Australia, including iconic Captain Cook Cruises on Sydney Harbour and on the Murray River, and injects many millions of dollars into the Kangaroo Island community each year.
“In just 25 years our staff numbers have grown from 15 employees to over 600 and today we service more than three million passengers a year in Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory and South Australia,” Managing Director Jeff Ellison says.
“What began as a one-ferry operation now includes a fleet of 26 commercial vessels and brands such as Captain Cook Cruises, Australian Holiday Centre, Adelaide Sightseeing, Hop-On Hop-Off, Kangaroo Island Odysseys, Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours, Vivonne Bay Lodge, SeaLink Queensland and SeaLink Northern Territory.
“SeaLink is a South Australian success story and while our company continues to grow, Kangaroo Island has, and always will, play an important and central role in our operations.”
Chairman of Tourism Kangaroo Island, Pierre Gregor, said there was no doubt that the professional and reliable service provided by SeaLink had contributed to the Island’s development.
“SeaLink’s domestic and international marketing plus the holiday packaging has been pivotal in the growth of tourism on Kangaroo Island,” he said.
“The positive direct and indirect economic impacts on the Island are reflected in part through the development of new tourism products and experiences and associated employment outcomes.”
Mr Gregor also recognised SeaLink’s encouragement and mentoring of tourism business related skills through the virtual tourism business program conducted at the Kingscote campus.
“It is a great initiative that seeks to develop skills valuable to the industry which may also assist with some of the youth retention challenges facing the island,” he said.
“The company’s sponsorship support to a significant range of community clubs, associations and individuals also helps to demonstrate SeaLink’s commitment to Kangaroo Island.”
SeaLink SA General Manager Donna Gauci said island communities needed a ferry service they could depend on and while other ferries had come and gone, SeaLink had stood the test of time.
“What began as a one-ferry operation on Kangaroo Island has been built up over time and that has given everyone ongoing security and certainty,” she said.
“With a fleet of two modern ferries and millions of dollars invested in terminals at Penneshaw and Cape Jervis as well as land-based transportation including coaches and four wheel-drives, SeaLink continues to invest heavily in the future of Kangaroo Island.”
“We’re proud of what SeaLink has achieved over the past 25 years and look forward to many more decades of continued growth for the company.”