Pacific Explorer, P&O Cruises Australia’s 1,998-passenger flagship became the first cruise ship to use the newly constructed breakwater wharf at Eden, New South Wales when she arrived on Sunday.
The extension of the breakwater wharf and dredging accommodates cruise ships up to 260 meters long. Built at a cost of $44 million, the wharf is a partnership led by the NSW Government with a $32 million contribution plus $10 million from the Australian Government and $2 million from Bega Valley Shire Council.
Pacific Explorer’s visit also signaled the start of the 2019/20 season for Eden, the southernmost deepwater harbour in New South Wales, situated on the Sapphire Coast between Sydney and Melbourne. Holland America Line’s Maasdam follows on September 27 2019.
Philip Holliday, chief operating officer – Sydney, Port Kembla, Eden & harbour master Sydney, one of the VIP guests, said “The Eden cruise wharf is a welcome addition to ensuring the south coast region of NSW is safe, open and accessible to the cruise ship industry and the economic benefits the industry will bring”
Captain Bilton said he was honored to bring the first cruise ship alongside in Eden as part of the P&O flagship’s three-night cruise from Sydney.
“Being able to bring a ship alongside in Eden is a great step forward because it means we can offer our guests greater certainty of a successful call,” Captain Bilton said.
The Eden community’s warm embrace of cruise tourism was celebrated today as Pacific Explorer made local maritime history with the inaugural alongside call.
Peter Little, Senior Vice President Guest Experience P&O Cruises and Pacific Explorer’s master, Captain Roger Bilton, joined government and community leaders at a ceremony marking the arrival of the ship with her 2000 guests.
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Along with the Pacific Explorer, 22 cruise ship visits are forecasted for the current season, with many more to come in the future, including Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth in the 2020/21 season.