Updated: May 15
✦ The beautiful Rhythmboat has become an affectionately familiar sight on the Hastings River.
Mention the Rhythmboat, the dolphins or Tom "Cruise Director" (our favourite David Lazarus) and everyone in the community will have been on one of their famous cruises or know someone who has been on it or who is planning to book a cruise.
Sailing into the community
The beautiful vessel of Port AdVenture Cruises has become a way to contribute to the community.
Licensed for 170 passengers, owner David Lazarus says they actually avoid maximising this capacity simply because it would affect the quality of service they offer. From the very first contact to the time the passenger leaves the boat, David ensures they get friendly, prompt and FUN treatment. They clearly take pride in their customer service and since sailing for 4.5 years, they have been warmly welcomed by the community.
What makes Port AdVenture Cruises stand out is how passengers do not simply sail once on the Rhythmboat. They return again and again, bringing family, friends and visitors. It's a great place for special celebrations!
The special bond Port AdVenture Cruises has with customers can be seen in how they are quick and generous in offering something more. Those who wish to hire the vessel for a private event are invited to first be a guest on one of their 2-hour dolphin spotting cruises. What a great way to get to know a business even before you've signed up! It's a clear sign of confidence that Port AdVenture Cruises will deliver and the trust that you don't lose anything by being generous.
Brilliant-Online celebrated our 2nd birthday on the Rhythmboat! Read about it here:
That classic warm Australian nature
And their generosity doesn't stop there. If you have ever met the owners of Port AdVenture Cruises David Lazarus and Elsa Barbosa, you won't be surprised at their warm, friendly and welcoming nature that is so beautifully, classically Australian.
Elsa is a good listener and she surrounds herself with positive people who inspire her to do better. She is also constantly pushing herself to go further and grow in her professional development. She nominated herself to be on the Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association Board and was accepted!
“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.”
In spite of all the challenges when the business first started, she was determined to be successful and do her best so their business could prosper.
“While it is important that our business succeeds, it is vital that the Port Macquarie region continues to thrive.” - Elsa Barbosa
For David, Port AdVenture Cruises has a very simple mission statement. "Customer service! It is important that every passenger on board has a good experience with us, with comfort, good catering, and a relaxed atmosphere.”
David clearly loves his job. One could say he has a dream job! Imagine going to work and seeing families, friends, visitors enjoying a 2-hr river cruise, or being at someone's birthday party, a retirement celebration, a wedding, a group of seniors who are wild about having fun... you are constantly surrounded by joy and laughter. If the Rhythmboat could speak, it would have volumes to say about all the events it has witnessed during its cruises.
FUN-raising with Port AdVenture Cruises
Port AdVenture Cruises is also very much about engaging with the community and being a part of its identity.
Every Australia Day, they donate their vessel to Sailability to raise funds for people with disabilities. They have a charity tin for staff to put in tips, and David can often be heard on cruises encouraging people to put in some loose change. They also collect used cans and bottles from their licensed bar to be given to Sailability so they can get a 20c refund for each. Every bit goes a long way and Port AdVenture Cruises is doing its part to help with fund-raising for Sailability.
Another occasion was the Mayors Sporting Fund, where Mayor Peta Pinson asked if they could use their vessel for the annual fund-raising event. Feeling deeply honoured and proud to have been asked, Port AdVenture Cruises even donated as part of the prize pool, one of their cruises!
They have never said no to charities or fundraisers who have approached them and with such positive energy surrounding the business and the vessel, it is no wonder dolphins are constantly attracted to it and come by to wave to the passengers! And in classic David Lazarus mode (who is a born entertainer), fundraising is always treated as FUN-raising because they want community events to be FUN!
It's for everyone in the community
Port AdVenture Cruises is much more than just a business.
For them, everyone is welcome and nobody is left out. Their Seniors Big Day Out for the elderly is a mega event, with a 3 course lunch, singalong entertainment, Bingo, trivia and lots and lots of fun and laughter. All of that with prices kept as minimal as possible.
We have all experienced the challenges of bushfires, floods, COVID-19 and it is clear that when we stand together as a community, we can get through it, and emerge stronger. Port AdVenture Cruises is always paying it forward and they continue to be a familiar sight on the Hastings River day and night.
Work Health and Safety is key
Even with all the fun and merrymaking, Port AdVenture Cruises is strict when it comes to Work Health and Safety (WHS). They are proud of their business and what they are giving to the community, and a big part of this is keeping staff and passengers safe.
The Rhythmboat itself is not just a vehicle. It has its own personality and people have grown accustomed to seeing this huge white creature sailing peacefully down the river (often with quite a lot of laughter and lively conversation spilling out of it). It is given the utmost care to make sure it stays healthy and well.
The vessel is inspected every year with strict compliance orders including plant and equipment maintenance, rigid SMS (Safety Management System) where they employ a consultant to keep them up to date. The vessel must be slipped every 3 years for an out of water survey. The staff have regular drill safety programmes and David and Elsa have their own safety diary to record all activities.
Being hands-on owners, and given their warm-hearted natures, it is no surprise that there is a very low turnover of staff. Social events for staff are common and it's a way for David and Elsa to acknowledge and show appreciation for their commitment and hard work.
Port AdVenture Cruises continues to sail strong into the sunset, appearing at sunrise. The Rhythmboat is a space for people to come together, celebrate or simply just get together to enjoy the beautiful surroundings where we live in.
Ready to get onboard yet?
Don't miss out! Port AdVenture Cruises is hosting the Biggest Elvis Show on Earth with Father and Son Elvis team, Paul and Anthony Fenech! Sat 12 Aug 2023 8:00PM at the Darling Harbour Theatre, ICC Sydney, NSW.
David Lazarus & Elsa Barbosa
t/ 0417 681 031 or 0434 393 199
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