Water cannon tugboat in Sydney Harbour
In one of the most spectacular ship arrivals in Sydney Harbour’s long maritime history, three water cannon tugs will form a guard of honour and escort for P&O Cruises Australia flagship Pacific Explorer as the ship returns to her home port on Monday after an absence of more than two years.
Port Authority of NSW fire tug, Shirley Smith, will take the lead joining two water cannon tugs operated by Engage Towage — Martinique and Fitzroy — with all three sending up huge plumes of water to salute Pacific Explorer’s arrival.
Two other Engage tugs, Cook and Diamantina, will also be on duty carrying out operational requirements for the arrival of a cruise ship in Sydney Harbour.
President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald and NSW Minister for Transport and Veterans David Elliott said the spectacular welcome planned for Pacific Explorer would be emblematic of the resumption of cruise tourism and its contribution to the NSW economy.
Ms Fitzgerald said: “Pacific Explorer’s return will be a momentous day that signals the resurgence of cruising in Australia after two difficult years for the businesses and people whose livelihoods depend on it. There could be no better way to welcome Pacific Explorer home than to have the harbour’s tugs out in force to greet her. It doesn’t get more Sydney than that.”
Mr Elliott said: “The people of our great harbour city have been waiting to once again witness the giants of the sea returning to our shores. The sound of their ‘whistles’ echoing through our city will be that little bit more special this time as we welcome home this important industry.
“This will create a real buzz around our ports, whether it be families looking to go on holiday, local suppliers looking to provide the freshest produce, or the hard-working crews who have put in place strong protocols to revitalise the sector.”
NSW Port Authority CEO Philip Holliday said: “Meeting and steering this ship safely back into Sydney Harbour will be one of the proudest moments for the Port Authority – I’m sure there won’t be a dry eye on the ship’s bridge. Our cruise terminals are ready, our teams are ready, and we cannot wait to roll out the welcome mat for the first time in two years.”
Mark Malone, Director Engage Towage said: “Engage Towage is very proud to be associated with Carnival Australia and its affiliated brands and, after weathering the absence of cruise ships for over two years, is excited to be involved in the celebration of the return of cruise shipping”.
Pacific Explorer is scheduled to arrive at Sydney Heads at approximately 9.30am on Easter Monday before making her way to the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay to be alongside at approximately 10.30am.