P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn made history today as the largest cruise ship to sail under Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge in time for Melbourne Cup.

There were some 2,000 punters onboard as the 47.6 metre high Pacific Dawn passed under the West Gate Bridge, which has a clearance of 50.1 metres.

The ship then berthed at Victoria Dock, next to Melbourne’s Docklands early this morning.

Pacific Dawn Sails up the Yarra for Melbourne Cup_Photo James Morgan

Image: James Morgan.

The central location will give Pacific Dawn’s 2,000 guests unprecedented cruise ship access to the city during their two-day stay for the Melbourne Cup.

The 70,285-tonne superliner is one of a record four cruise ships visiting Melbourne for the Cup. P&O Cruises’ Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel are both docked at Station Pier along with Carnival Spirit, from P&O’s sister cruise line Carnival Cruise Line.

Pacific Dawn Sails Under the West Gate Bridge_Photo James Morgan

Image: James Morgan.

Between them, the ships’ 8000 guests will represent around 8 per cent of total attendees at the Melbourne Cup.

The four-ship visit is expected to inject more than $7 million into the economy in passenger and crew spending as well as port charges and fees, with the ships spending a combined 12 days in Melbourne.

What you up to for Melbourne Cup today?