The countdown is on for the first cruise departing from Sydney Harbour.
It has been more than two years since we have seen a cruise ship in our waters and this morning the spirits were high and the atmosphere friendly as stocks of fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood and even Australian cornflakes were loading on the P&Os. Pacific Explorer.
More than 220 pallets containing 7.3 tonnes of meat, 9.6 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, 6.6 tonnes of seafood and 300,000 shell eggs will be loaded onto Pacific Explorer today.
P&O celebrity chef Luke Mangan said: “We’re back baby!
“What a beautiful day. It has been two years of hard work for all of us. Especially for growers who have not only been affected by the pandemic, but before, by drought and fires.
“I look forward to the first return cruise on May 31.”
“As a chef and owner and operator of a restaurant, including a number of exclusive outlets on P&O Cruises Australia ships, I know that quality Australian produce is key to success. “So it’s fantastic to see that the return of cruising also means the return of opportunity for our farmers and other producers, including winemakers and craft beer makers. Many have worked hard over the past two years and it’s good to know that the benefits will only increase as cruising intensifies.
Below decks in the galley, the crew tested dishes to ensure they were up to the highest standards.
Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia chairman Marguerite Fitzgerald said the resumption of cruises was a massive injection of cash into the economy.
Before the pandemic, the cruise industry was worth $5 billion a year
As Carnival Australia-branded ships gradually return to service in the coming months, suppliers will deliver products worth around $10 million each month.
“Today’s big product delivery to Pacific Explorer is where cruising meets economic opportunity. It is also a strong confirmation of the multiplier effect of cruise tourism and the diversity of the “cruise ecosystem”, Ms Fitzgerald said.
Pacific Explorer is due to depart Sydney on May 31 on its first commercial cruise since the lifting of the cruise ban in Australia. Guests will sail a four-night itinerary with a call to Brisbane on June 2 where Pacific Explorer will become the first cruise ship to dock at the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
See a tour of the ship here: