Five giant cruise ships entered Sydney Harbour just before 7am this morning to celebrate two new additions to P&O’s international cruising fleet.
The newest and smallest ships in the fleet, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, entered the harbour just after dawn, passing through the Heads in a V-formation alongside Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl.
Sydneysiders gathered at vantage points along the harbour to catch a glimpse of the ships as they cruised to Fort Denison, where Kate Richie and Jessica Mauboy, appointed the ships’ godmothers, were on hand at Fort Denison to “christen” them via Twitter. Mauboy also performed the national anthem.
With the liners now docked in various locations throughout the harbour, celebrations will continue on the liners throughout the afternoon until a fireworks display farewells them tonight.
Cruising remains a hugely popular escape for Australians – and therefore lucrative business for tourism operators. P&O’s website claims 330,000 Australians take a cruise every year, 100,000 of those in the Pacific islands. And it’s not just the oldies who get off on big ships and deckchairs: the average age of guests, P&O says, is just 42. – Story and presenting by Amber Greasley; produced by Ra’Easah Lillah
Photo by Jessica Heckley