With the Radiance of the Seas arriving in Wollongong, an event was held at Lang Park in order to celebrate the arrival of the cruise ship, as well as show tourists the wealth of options available to them in the Illawarra region.

UOWTV Multimedia talked to some of the volunteers, organizers and stand holders to see why they participated in today’s event and why the arrival of the Radiance of the Seas is important for the Illawarra.

The Illawarra region today welcomed thousands of passengers with the arrival of cruise ship Radiance of the Seas.

The ship, which is owned by Royal Caribbean International, docked at Port Kembla just before eight this morning, using the port as a trial stop in preparation for future cruises by the company.

Wollongong City Councillor Leigh Colacino said the arrival of the ship was just the beginning of a new industry in the Illawarra region.

“What has occurred today has shown that a true belief in the product you are selling achieves great results,” Cr Colacino said.

“We had a great product to sell, and that was Port Kembla, which is one of the best ports on our Eastern Seaboard.

“Everybody on that ship this morning¬†knows that. They’ve got photos to prove just how great our area is.”

Royal Caribbean has announced a further three stops by cruise ships to Port Kembla over the next two years, with the next stop scheduled to be December 27.

The arrival of the ship was complemented by an event held at Lang Park, which allowed passengers and members of the public to experience what Wollongong has to offer.

Marketing Manager of Destination Wollongong Angie Howes said that today’s arrival is a fantastic way to showcase the Illawarra region to other cruise companies and show how much Wollongong has developed as a travel destination in recent years.

“They [Royal Caribbean] have already shown to us that they respect the fact we are doing this [organizing the event in Lang Park] and making the stop a big showcase,” Ms Howes said.

“We aren’t just letting the passengers get off the boat and letting them go wherever they want to go, we are actually welcoming them and making them a part of the community here.”

The Radiance of the Seas stopped in Port Kembla as a part of its’ 2016 East Coast and Tasmania cruise, which is due to complete its trip tomorrow in Sydney.

Today’s arrival coincided with the 2016 Harley Days Thunder Run from Flagstaff Hill, a mass-participation Harley-Davidson motorcycle ride showcasing Wollongong and the Illawarra region.