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Admittedly a 'Jill of all trades' Elsa Barbosa loves her vocation

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

✦ Cruising the Hastings River on a daily basis dolphin spotting is a tough gig - not! That’s just what Elsa does as co-owner and manager of Port AdVenture Cruises, a charter boat operation based in Port Macquarie.

Offering a huge range of cruises, including private functions and a huge selection of entertainment events throughout the year, we asked Elsa just what she does aboard the boat?

“The question should be, what don’t I do?" she laughed. "As the co-owner I have a very hands-on role including taking the bookings, overseeing the catering, promotion and marketing and, when we finish our cruises, cleaning and servicing the vessel."

A wonderful cruising experience for everyone, the vessel has a fantastic reputation for their Seniors' Big Day Out Cruises, hosting private groups celebrating a birthday for 1year olds to 90 year olds and they have provided uni cruises with DJs suitable for the crowd on board.

“In summary, we provide weddings, parties and anything," Elsa told us "The big difference and point of sale is that our venue (boat) cruises the river with changing scenery every five minutes.”

Challenges faced as a Woman Business Owner

If we had asked Elsa this 10 years ago she may have answered differently, but now she said that it seems women are accepted and respected as business leaders.

“My co-owner, David Lazarus, is a male," she explained. "We make the decisions together and, while we don’t always agree, we have both learned to be flexible and consider each other’s opinions. It’s an old cliche but 'there is no I in team'.”

Elsa has a strong work ethic. If she gets a work related phone call at 10pm she will answer it.

“Being in business you must be prepared for 100% commitment and you must love your job. To be cruising the Hastings River every day, almost always seeing dolphins and getting warm feedback from our customers is very special for me.”

Innovation and change

When Port AdVenture Cruises went through COVID, like many business owners, Elsa and David had lots of time to think and restructure. They didn’t waste an hour during the lockdown, they planned for the future of their business.

“There was immense financial pressure at the time, however, we knew we had a business that would prosper and COVID, while at the time was devastating, has made me more determined to be successful in the future of our business,” Elsa told us.

Elsa listens to people and asks lots of questions. She surrounds herself with positive people who inspire and advise her to do things better.

Recently, she nominated herself to be on the Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association Board and was over the moon when she was accepted.

“While it is important that our business succeeds, it is vital that the Port Macquarie region continues to thrive,” she said.

Port AdVenture Cruises have furthered their business by seeking advice from technology professionals and have been set up expertly with their social media channels and a website update. Elsa believes that all businesses need to work on this aspect of their business, harness modern technology to reach out to clients and customers.

Protect our Earth and make it a better place

Elsa has strong opinions on this. “You can’t sugar coat it. Earth and some of the people at the moment need to change their attitude. The current war in Ukraine, the constant threat of terrorism and even the scammers who hack your social media make our time on Earth at present very challenging. If we can get rid of crime, drugs, war, etc, our planet Earth would be a better place.”

Dolphin spotting cruise the Port AdVenture Cruise
Dolphins welcome!

She thinks all businesses, including Port AdVenture Cruises realise that they have to protect the environment.

“We are proactive with recycling and try to minimise our rubbish. We are grateful that we have a clean river system with clean water. As a business owner, I take the environment very seriously and ensure we do our bit to protect it as best we can,” she told us.

A word of thanks from Elsa

“I really appreciate Brilliant-online, firstly for giving our business a continuing high profile on their multimedia platform and in their monthly magazine, and secondly me as a co-owner of Port AdVenture Cruises, a voice to be interviewed for this edition,” she said. “I have only been in Port Macquarie for five years, but the community support has been overwhelming - Port Macquarie is my HOME.”

Elsa’s one wish for 2023… that the bushfires, floods, COVID and the recent winds are all behind us and that we can trade without the disruption of these natural disasters


Elsa Barbosa & David Lazarus Port AdVenture Cruises

Facebook: t/ 0417 681 031 or 0434 393 199


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