The arrival of the Pacific Explorer a ‘moving homecoming’ for Sydney’s maritime community

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PACIFIC Explorer’s The return to Sydney on Monday was celebrated as a new chapter in the port city’s maritime heritage.

The P&O cruise ship arrived in Australia on April 18 after the end of the federal government’s ban on entering Australian waters.

The ban went into effect on March 17, 2020 and was lifted on April 17, 2022. Pacific Explorer is the first international cruise ship to visit Sydney Harbor since the imposition of the ban.

Port Authority of New South Wales chief executive Philip Holliday said the cruise’s return was a moment the port authority had been waiting for.

“Hearing our marine pilot request port clearance and our marine traffic team welcoming the captain of the vessel into Sydney Harbor was one of the sweetest radio calls I have heard in a long time,” Mr Holliday said. .

“Preparing for the return of the cruise has been a long and difficult journey during which we have ensured that our terminals and procedures are ship-like to safely welcome cruise passengers and crew to NSW.”

P&O Cruises Australia President Marguerite Fitzgerald described the arrival of Pacific Explorer as “a moving return”.

Pacific Explorer Passing through Sydney Heads after two long years was a magical moment and I am proud to say there was hardly any dry eye among our vendors, guests and staff,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

Transport and Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliot said Sydney Harbor had long been the crown jewel for Pacific cruising, and the arrival was a beacon of optimism and hope.

“Today our great port city has reclaimed its title as the gateway to Australian cruising, with Sydneysiders and boaties once again witnessing the miracle of modern shipping,” Mr Elliot said.

Stuart Ayres, Minister for Business, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Minister for Western Sydney, said tourism operators and local suppliers will help rebuild the industry which has contributed $2.9 billion to the New South Wales economy in the year before the pandemic. .

“The return of the first cruise ship after a two-year hiatus is a landmark moment for NSW that will help boost the recovery of the state’s visitor economy,” said Mr Ayres.

“Supplying cruise ships with local produce and the 9,000 jobs created by the sector will also bring lasting benefits to our community.”

Pacific Explorer will remain in Sydney for the next few weeks as it prepares for its first guest cruise to Brisbane, departing May 31, 2022.

It is due to make the first call at the new cruise terminal at the Port of Brisbane on June 2 this year.

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