2020 With Berger Houseboat Holidays
2020 was an eventful year in oh so many ways! High highs and low lows but overall a positive experience.
The year started well with the fleet busy, happy guests and relaxing days on the river. Drought, bush fires and then storms affected many of our guests, but we were able to offer an escape from the reality of their difficulties.
In February, our very own marina Seabin was installed to collect floating debris, micro and macro plastics. It is also able to absorb petroleum-based surface oils and after a lab analysis can determine how healthy our marina is. With initiatives like this we can work towards cleaner waterways and a healthier environment for years to come. For more info please check out The Seabin Project and see how their amazing work has led them worldwide!
Then the pandemic hit, and a new way of living was forced upon us all. Whilst lockdown was hard, it was also heart-warming the support we received from all our guests, particularly locals.
9 weeks with no guests was an incredibly long time and to top it off, the weather was fantastic. Beautiful still days – just perfect for painting!
It didn’t even rain over the Easter long weekend – how long since that has happened?
Anzac Day was subdued but still felt keenly. Advantage was taken of the extraordinary amount of time our fleet was berthed at the marina with many tedious maintenance jobs being carried out. Even to the extent of employing a new member in our team, a full-time carpenter. Chris’s first job was to sand and lacquer the interior walls and trip aboard JFS Rhyanna – nothing like a face-lift in lockdown.
New signs for the office, cause Amy still needed something to look forward to each day. Not sure if her children enjoyed the office as a new school yard though.
Then the news we were all waiting for was announced! We were back up and running with many eager guests ready to set sail for an isolation getaway on the river.
Officially back on our deck with our first guests backing out to enjoy their week on the water.
Even a pooch or two couldn’t resist relaxing aboard our pet friendly houseboat Wanderer.
In July we welcomed the arrival of our newest addition to the Berger Houseboat fleet – Paradise II. Paradise II set off from the Gold Coast Broadwater for an early morning journey to the Tweed River. Other than a few seasick deckhands, the voyage was a success and the crew crossed the Tweed Bar to the calm, quiet waterways of the Tweed. It’s not every day you see a houseboat cruising the ocean from Point Danger.
Major refurbishment work was required prior to welcoming her first guests aboard but we believe she was certainly worth the wait!
The chopping and changing with border regulations were certainly challenging for those of us that crossed the QLD/NSW border on a regular basis and many of our Queensland guests were unable to join us from mid-August through till September. This was good news for those in NSW looking for an adventure, the gaps in bookings created by the border confusion were quickly filled by those keen to head out on the water. The great thing about being in Tweed Heads throughout border closures was that it is as close to QLD as you can travel and still experience QLD weather!
Then everything was back to the so called “normal” and finding gaps in the diary has been more difficult than finding willing explorers looking for a houseboating adventure.
A little flooding in December caused a few dramas and a few disappointed guests when their holidays were disrupted. But everyone was kept safe and no damage to our fleet.
Our Christmas and New Year hires were extremely busy but such an exciting time! Families were finally reunited after a long year of uncertainty and were able to celebrate and enjoy time together.
Our team were rewarded with a party cruise up the river aboard “Captain Bill”, courtesy of Tweed Eco Cruises in mid-January. The earliest we were able to organise our Christmas party…
Before we realised, we were a quarter way into the new year and it’s safe to say that things have not slowed down! Easter has been and gone but we’re still cruising through the school holidays and looking forward to what feels like a months’ worth of long weekends ahead of us…if only NSW shared the same amount of public holidays as QLD…
2020 certainly had its challenges however, we’re all about finding the silver lining. We’ve welcomed new staff, new guests and new a houseboat.
Here’s to 2021…Stay safe and remember, if you’re going on a houseboat, make sure it’s a Berger
Houseboat! Happy cruising!