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Swan venture acts as Darling prototype

PERTH’S new floating entertainment venue The Crystal Swan is serving as a prototype for ventures in Docklands in Melbourne and Darling Harbour.

Owner Kim Blackburne said the $2 million 300-person glass boat was smaller than eastern states counterparts to fit in with the scale of the Swan River.

It is available for a range of events including corporate networking, teen discos, weddings and tourism events.

Ms Blackburne said there were a few headaches with getting permission for the concept.

“I had to appear in front of the Swan River Trust and convince them that, while it was different, that was no reason to reject my application,” she said.

“It was also crucial to comply with wildlife concerns to make sure she didn’t create disturbance on the water.”

Swan River Trust manager Robert Atkins said the Trust’s main concerns were with regard to aesthetics.

“It’s quite large and distinctive so we wanted to ensure it fit in harmoniously with its surrounds,” Mr Atkins said.

The entire vessel was custom made and used skyscraper-strength glass to protect against hail storms and the like.

It is powered by engines to compensate for the wind factor and soundproofing drowns out all noise excluding the thrusters.

Heat retaining screens are used to keep warmth in during winter and there is no fixed furniture to allow flexibility for the type of events held.

“Corporate cocktail events are less expensive and shorter than a formal dinner,” Ms Blackburne said.

The Crystal Swan will hold business networking cocktail parties entitled How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Wednesday nights.

“It will be a chance to enjoy good food, magic views and have fun while unashamedly promoting our businesses and professions,” she said.

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