Cruise Ship Pacific Sun Takes Centre Stage for Australia Day Celebrations

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Sun arrived in Sydney this morning to take part in today’s Australia Day celebrations, with the cruise ship set to be ‘dressed’ with two of the biggest Australian flags ever displayed on the harbour.

Carrying 1900 passengers, Pacific Sun will be moored off Bradleys Head for a day of spectacular activities.

The two giant-sized Australian flags – each measuring a mammoth 44 metres by 22 metres and weighing more than 100kgs – will be unfurled on Pacific Sun’s port and starboard sides between 7 and 8.30am.

The ship’s Australia Day role comes as the countdown begins for the ‘Sydney Festival of Cruising’ throughout February – a record month for cruise ships in Sydney for the summer cruise season.

Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said Pacific Sun’s Australia Day involvement and the Festival of Cruising were signs of community confidence in cruising and its growing economic contribution.

“We are delighted Pacific Sun and her passengers will be part of the Australia Day celebrations on the harbour with the ship dressed appropriately with her two huge Australian flags,” Ms Sherry said.

“Along with the looming Festival of Cruising, it’s a reminder of the importance of cruise ships to the local economy with combined spending in Sydney by passengers, crew and cruise ship operators of $400 million in 2010-2011 alone.

“Passenger ships are a vital part of Sydney Harbour’s maritime heritage and this year marks the 80th anniversary of local cruising when P&O’s Strathaird sailed on a five-day cruise to the South Pacific.”

In the spirit of Australia Day celebrations, Pacific Sun’s booming ‘whistle’ will be used as the starter’s signal for the magnificent Tall Ships’ Parade at 3pm.