(1:00 p.m. AEST) – With four cruise ships in Sydney on Australia Day but two docked out at White Bay, near Rozelle, booked passengers have been wondering what they will see.
Add a couple of hundred yachts, tour boats, tall boats, ferries and pleasure crafts joining in the fun, and the logistics of the event become complicated. So, Cruise Critic asked P&O Cruises to explain how it will work on the day for cruise passengers.
In the middle of the harbour will be Pacific Pearl, at Point Piper, and Pacific Eden, at Athol Buoy, near Taronga Zoo.
Pacific Aria and Pacific Jewel spend the day at White Bay Cruise Terminal. However, at 6 pm Jewel moves to Bank Anchorage, near Bradleys Head; and at 6.30 pm Aria moves to Neutral Bay (note: these new timings are revised from the listed schedule on the Sydney Ports website).
Aria and Jewel are expected to be in position by 7 pm, near Eden and Jewel, which means passengers on all four ships will see the 9.30 pm fireworks, P&O confirmed. After the fireworks finish, Pacific Jewel will depart, followed by Pearl, then Eden, then Aria.
During the day, passengers are free to stay onboard or head into the harbour. The good news is that free shuttle buses will run from White Bay to the city. The last bus back to White Bay will depart the city 90 minutes before each ship departs.
“Pacific Aria and Pacific Jewel guests [in White Bay] will be able to disembark on Australia Day to enjoy festivities on and around the harbour,” the P&O spokesperson said.
“Plenty of entertainment will also be provided onboard including Australia Day themed activities. A live band and a DJ will get the sailaway party started as the ships move into the harbour for the evening fireworks.”
Passengers should also be aware that the new ferry that runs between White Bay and Circular Quay will not be operating on Australia Day, Captain Cook Cruises confirmed today.
All four P&O ships will be in Sydney mid-cruise — Pearl will have departed Sydney on January 24 and Eden on January 25, while Aria is visiting on a roundtrip cruise from Brisbane and Jewel is visiting from Melbourne. .
Find out how other cruise lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, are celebrating Australia Day onboard their local ships.