Award for North Star Cruises founder

Written on the 27 June 2016 by Melva Stone

Award for North Star Cruises founder Founding Director of North Star Cruises, Craig Howson has been recognized for his contribution to the tourism industry.  Announced in this year's Queens Birthday Honours, Craig has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal.

Thirty years of successful adventure cruising operations have seen North Star Cruises win a plethora awards for excellence, including state and national tourism awards, export awards and numerous consumer awards.

There is a very "human" side to be added to the already remarkable story of the success of North Star Cruises, which prides itself on employing young Australian crew, giving them the opportunity of a lifetime as crew of True North.

When the True North became the first Australian adventure cruise boat to operate in Papua New Guinea, the venture brought with it opportunities and support for local villages.   In addition, passengers on cruises were encouraged to take pens, pencils etc for local village children and also a local school was built with the financial assistance of True North passengers and crew.

Another heart- warming story is the amazing effort made to help a teenage girl in Papua New Guinea, who had suffered severe burns when her traditional grass skirt caught on fire.  After spending more than five months in a hospital in New Guinea, a doctor, who was a passenger on True North saw her.  The end result was that another family, also passengers, sponsored the girl and her mother to travel to Australia for the girl's treatment. After almost a year, the girl was able to return to her home and True North returned mother and daughter to a joyful and emotional reunion in Papua New Guinea.

Craig's Award comes after many years of pioneering the adventure cruise industry here in the Kimberley, in other parts of Australia and in both Papua New Guinea and West Papau (Indonesia).  Craig is the first to say that the success of True North is not just about the boat, but about his passengers experiencing the destinations to which it operates.  Shore excursions are the primary focus of cruises operated by North Star Cruises excursions that create "once in a lifetime" memories in remarkable destinations.  No doubt that philosophy has worked well, given that some forty percent of the business is repeat business.

Responding to the Award, Craig said "It is very humbling to receive this recognition. It makes me realise how fortunate I was to pioneer adventure cruising in the Kimberley.  To see what has evolved from those early days is also very rewarding and I am extremely grateful to those who joined me along the way in particular the team, past and present who make the True North experience so special".

The Chamber of Commerce & Industry is proud to have North Star Cruises as a Member and we congratulate Craig and his team on this very well deserved Award.

Author:Melva Stone

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