First Cruise Sets Sail From Sydney After Over Two Years

The first cruise vessel in over two years has departed from Sydney Harbour. P&O’s Pacific Explorer set sail from the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Balmain at 4 pm for a four-night trip to and from Brisbane. Thousands of guests are on the mammoth vessel, which has set sail with great fanfare. The ship arrived in Sydney last month. It is likely to become the first to be berthing at the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.

It boasts 999 cabins, 18 restaurants, seven clubs and bars, and the first bowling green on an Australian vessel. Cruises had been banned in 2020 around March when COVID-19 lockdowns had started after there was an outbreak on the Ruby Princess.
The ban got lifted earlier in 2022, but the vessels have just started arriving back.

Marguerite Fitzgerald, the President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia said it will be quite an “emotional moment” when it starts sailing. The voyage will be welcomed by the $5 billion industry that supports 18,000 Australians with jobs.

cruise ship
Representation image

About 1.35 million Australians had taken a cruise in 2018. The peak season is December to March. Before the ongoing pandemic, cruising fetched economic activities worth over $1 billion annually in Queensland.

Several cruise ships are due back in Australia in the next few months. In June this year, Princess Cruises will homeport Coral Princess in Brisbane. In 2023, Carnival Cruise Line will homeport a ship in the city.

In November, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will call at Cairns, Airlie Beach, and Port Douglas. Sister ship Queen Victoria will call at Cairns in March next year, with flagship vessel Queen Mary 2 visiting Brisbane and Airlie Beach in the same month.

It is one of the last nations to permit cruises. Cruisers must be vaccinated and undergo a rapid COVID-19 test before they board.


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