P&O Australia Cruise Ship Arrives in Sydney for the First Time

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Carnival-owned Pacific Encounter sailed into Sydney Harbour waters today, offering a salute to ‘hero tugs’ and additional maritime traditions.

The ship’s arrival in Sydney, Australia, will continue the revival of Australia’s $5 billion a year cruise industry, providing economic benefit to the city with local marine engineering and technical services to be added onboard.

Pacific Encounter’s Sydney Harbour Arrival

The latest addition to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet, Pacific Encounter, was led by the Port Authority of NSW fire tug and surrounded by three privately operated tugs while entering the Sydney Harbour today. 

In celebration, the ship’s top deck screen flashed the words ‘HERO TUGS!!!’ while offering a salute to ‘hero tugs’ and other maritime champions that assist in keeping the waters safe. 

The Director of Engage Towage, Mark Malone said, “We are proud to assist with the maiden arrival of the Pacific Encounter into Sydney, demonstrating our ongoing relationship with P&O Cruises Australia and continued support of the return of cruise ships into Australia. The salute to our ‘Hero Tugs’ is a welcome gesture and a well-deserved credit to our crews.”

Pacific Encounter’s time in the harbor will be of economic benefit to the city with local marine engineering and technical services coming on board.

Read Also: Two P&O Cruise Ships Have Historic Encounter

In addition, more than half a million kilograms of locally sourced produce will be loaded aboard to begin the ship’s cruising program. 

“We are very proud to welcome Pacific Encounter to begin her P&O Cruises cruising career to offer our guests fantastic and memorable cruise experiences,” said President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald. 

Diamantina, Martinique, and Fitzroy were the three Engage Towage-owned tugboats that took part in the escort for Pacific Encounter.

The three tugs and their devoted crews assisted in the operation to save bulk carrier Portland Bay after it lost power in bad weather last month. 

Philip Holliday, CEO of the Port Authority of NSW, said he was proud of the work of his team in leading the multi-agency response that saved the vessel in trouble from running aground off Sydney.

Pacific Explorer, a P&O Australia cruise ship, departed from Sydney on May 31, 2022, with the destination Brisbane as the first cruise ship to restart guest operations in Australia in over two years.

Pacific Encounter’s Home Port

The ship’s time in Sydney will be brief, as it plans to set sail to its home port of Brisbane shortly after. P&O Cruises Australia’s long-time tradition of basing ships in Brisbane enables Queenslanders to cruise with convenience.

Pacific Encounter will welcome her first guests on August 20, 2022, for a 7-night cruise departing from Brisbane. Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the state of Queenslanders in Australia, with a population of about 2.6 million.

P&O Australia Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: P&O Australia

“It is fitting that with its heritage of 90 years of cruising from Australia, home-grown cruise line, P&O Cruises Australia, is leading the renaissance of cruising in this region,” stated Fitzgerald.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive, Brett Fraser, stated that the cruise industry had a pre-pandemic annual value of $1 billion to the state.

“It is very exciting to see the rebuilding of cruise tourism in Australia and its economic benefits as we look forward to its revival in the wider Pacific region along with a near-normal summer cruise season here,” Marguerite Fitzgerald added.

On June 2, 2022, the Port of Brisbane’s newest cruise terminal, Brisbane International Cruise Terminal, welcomed its first cruise ship to use the terminal, P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Explorer.

The New Pacific Encounter

With a guest capacity of 2,600, the 108,865 gross ton Pacific Encounter, will feature twin racer waterslides that guests will be able to enjoy in 2023.

Guests onboard will have access to Byron Beach Club, a private retreat with pool, spas, and comfy seating, and a dedicated family pool area with loads of family-oriented activities, with an all-weather retractable roof. 

While the ship will have several family-friendly options, guests craving a child-free experience can head to Oasis for a cocktail or visit the chilled-out vibe in the Ocean Bar.

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