Ecotourism | Certified since 2000
EA: Twenty years is a long time. What is something you’ve learnt over the years that you wish you had known 20 years ago?
KC: Be passionate about something. If you are passionate about something pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks, this is how dreams are achieved. Having a passion towards anything makes life more interesting and it keeps me motivated towards my job.
It’s also okay to be selfish, while being selfless is an amazing quality to possess it’s important not to let my own happiness or beliefs be deflected because I am trying to please everyone around me. For example, my passengers and other tourism businesses and bodies.
No matter how many mistakes I make, or how many times I fail, I am still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together. I have also learnt not to take myself so seriously. Don’t be afraid to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. Most Importantly I have learnt to be nice to myself, I am what I am, I don’t try to figure it all out. I simply enjoy the journey.
EA: Over the past 20 years have you ever had any high profile/celebrity guests of note?
KC: Throughout my 20 years I have carried many high-profile politicians from water ministers to energy, environment and climate change ministers. Half the time I have to google them before the cruise, so I know who they are and what they look like.
I didn’t have to google Peter Garrett, who is the lead singer of Australian rock band Midnight Oil, environmentalist, activist and now former politician. At the time he was the minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts. Even though I asked casually on many occasions as a joke if he would belt out a tune for me he didn’t. He was very friendly, knowledgeable and very passionate about the environment and global issues and it was a real pleasure to have him on board.
EA: Describe your best guest/customer experience to date
KC: All my guests are different and they all make every cruise different. I love the passengers who engage with not only me but all on board and being a small vessel this happens daily. I love hearing stories, trying different foods from different countries, learning new languages, meeting different people from all walks of life but most of all I love helping them all make new memories. On many occasions they have become my friends and we keep in contact.
I would have to say though my best guest experience would be the day my now husband was on board, he was a passenger on a full boat. I knew he was on board, but I didn’t really talk to him much. After the cruise he asked for a photo which didn’t seem unusual and then he sent emails asking questions about the forest and river. Again, I didn’t pay much attention and answered the emails as I do for all. I was very slow in the uptake because in the end he asked me out for a drink, and we have now been married for 14 years and have two beautiful children who love the cruise. My miss 11-year-old loves making sure my passengers are comfortable and happy whilst my master 9-year-old is a little eco warrior, loves his birds, loves talking to my passengers and sharing his knowledge with them all especially when he finds his famous red back belly back (red belly black snake).