Australia cruising ban: P&O’s Pacific Explorer becomes first ship to enter Sydney Harbour for two years
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Australia cruising ban: P&O’s Pacific Explorer becomes first ship to enter Sydney Harbour for two years

The first international cruise ship arrived in Sydney on Monday morning, one day after the Australian government’s ban on cruising lifted.

P&O’s Pacific Explorer entered Sydney Harbour at 9.30am, arriving at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay about 10.30am.

The cruise liner’s arrival was met with a maritime hero’s welcome, with three water cannon tugs escorting the ship through the harbour and sending up huge ribbons of waters to salute Pacific Explorer’s arrival. There were 250 crew on board but no passengers. 

Another 600 crew will join the ship before its first passenger cruise on May 31, a four-night round trip from Sydney to Brisbane.

It will be followed by Ponant’s Le Laperouse at the end of the month, with operations recommencing on April 28 for a Darwin to Broome sailing in time for the crucial Kimberley season.

President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Marguerite Fitzgerald described the sight of the Pacific Explorer sailing into the harbour as “an emotional moment for our employees, many thousands of guests and our numerous cruise suppliers, travel agents and entertainers.”

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