Fantasea Cruises: Cruise to Success

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Proudly Australian owned, Fantasea Cruises, based in the Whitsundays, Queensland is the largest day cruise operator in the region, serving the magnificent Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Fantasea Cruises prides itself on its quality products and excellence in service.

Their fleet of nine modern air conditioned high-speed catamarans has grown substantially over recent years which is mainly due to their aggressive marketing targeted towards international tourists either coming to visit Australia, or currently travelling in Australia.


Fantasea Cruises’ perception of Export Grants was a common one. They looked attractive, however they were considered too difficult to obtain and not worth the time and effort. The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme had altered many times, occasionally excluding tourism claimants altogether, which added to the uncertainty surrounding the scheme. Export Solutions commenced consulting to Fantasea Cruises in 1998 and immediately set about changing this negative perception.

How it works

  • Export Solutions explained the benefit of the EMDG KITSM as a means to capture all required documentation
  • Export Solutions consulted with the Fantasea Cruises’ marketing team, looking closely at the costs incurred,
    including those within Australia, to maximise the EMDG grant


After investigating the wide range of marketing activities which Fantasea Cruises undertake, Export Solutions were able to identify other eligible expenses of which the client was unaware.

Some issues

A major challenge was properly qualifying international versus domestic marketing, as well as identifying the number of international guests who travelled on Fantasea Cruises. Export Solutions looked at the existing procedures within Fantasea Cruises and suggested minor and major strategies to capture the necessary information and ensure their EMDG claims could be properly substantiated.

Key benefits

With the confidence that future Export Grants could be documented and that this financial assistance would help fund their international promotional activities, Fantasea Cruises embarked on a significant marketing campaign. This, in turn, has supported their acquisition of new ferries.

The future

Fantasea Cruises continue to access Export Grants and Export Solutions continues to provide strategic advice to ensure that they receive full entitlements. Export Solutions also continue to work closely with staff to ensure claims can be properly supported with international statistics.

Following 6 successful EMDG claims, Fantasea Cruises have received over $470,000. This has been a major factor in their successful bid to attract international visitors to the Whitsunday Islands.

Quote from the client

‘Without question, we could not have received more assistance and support from any organisation. Export Solutions showed us how to open the gate and utilised their unique talents to maximise our returns from this Government scheme.’