GUESSING the value of waterfront properties was a novel way for Sydney friends Katharina Vitols and Alison Pagett to stay amused as they were ferried to the Mooloolaba wharf.
The Pacific Pearl cruise ship guests had been looking forward to exploring the Eumundi Markets during their daylong Sunshine Coast stopover.
Miss Vitols' first impressions in Mooloolaba were of a beautiful, clean, safe area that did not look overcrowded.
"We want to experience the local flavour of the town," she said.
"It has a reputation of artistic value."
Both women brought their daughters with them.
Mrs Pagett, who had been to the Sunshine Coast several times before, was keen to seize the opportunity to shop at the Eumundi Markets.
Previously, unwillingness from the males in her life had stymied her plans to get to the markets.
"We just wanted to get away from the cold in Sydney," she said.
A welcoming party including Mayor Mark Jamieson awaited the first visitors ferried in from the cruise ship.
Cr Jamieson said it was a great privilege to welcome passengers from the Pacific Pearl.
"It's been just an outstanding success thus far," he said.
He added it was a fantastic opportunity for tourism operators to put themselves on display to an entirely new market.
Eager onlookers lined Mooloolaba Beach and Point Cartwright to get a look at the cruise ship, and some swimmers, paddleboarders and boaties took to the water to get close to the liner.
"This is really an historic moment for us and one that I'm confident will lead to many, many more visits by cruise liners to the Sunshine Coast," Major Jamieson said.