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Hit the seas with William the Fourth


If you’re looking for a new adventure, this could be for you.

After a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, William the Fourth, a well-known replica of Australia’s first steam powered ocean-going paddlewheel ship, is preparing to hit the water once again, but it needs your help.

It’s looking for ‘shipmates’ who will show their support for the ship, by chipping in for unique experiences.

“It’s for people who want to support tourism and heritage in Newcastle and donate set amounts of money at different levels of donation to the ship,” Bob Cook, Secretary of William the Fourth Inc, told the Newcastle Weekly.

It starts at $50, which earns you the opportunity to be a guest crew member, have your photo taken at the helm, and be presented with a special certificate.

It’s been a rough few months for the community-owned asset, which has been out of action and out of money.

“We didn’t qualify for any programs or government funding because we are run by volunteers,” Mr Cook said.

“We need to attract revenue and raise funds to keep the ship going.

“Once we are operating we’ll generate money and it will keep itself running.”

The volunteer organisation is also facing the challenge of social distancing restrictions, with the ship only capable of holding half of its capacity, going from 50 passengers to 22.

To kick start business, William the Fourth is hosting two high tea cruises on 12 July, to make up for a cancelled Mother’s Day cruise.

The high tea itself will be unique, with each passenger receiving a box of treats.

“We are all used to the idea of takeaway packages now and we will be treating people in special ways,” Mr Cook said.

There will be one cruise in the morning, the other in the afternoon.

The cost is $60 per person, which includes drinks, catering and a two-hour cruise.

Two Christmas in July cruises will also be held on 19 July.

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Newcastle Weekly

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