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Cruisy Encounter: P&O Cruises’ newest ship sails into Sydney

The latest shipshape addition to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet, Pacific Encounter, cruised into Sydney Harbour with a salute to 'hero tugs' and other maritime safety champions to herald the ongoing revival of Australia’s annual $5 billion cruise market.

The latest shipshape addition to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet, Pacific Encounter, cruised into Sydney Harbour with a salute to ‘hero tugs’ and other maritime safety champions to herald the ongoing revival of Australia’s annual $5 billion cruise market.

Newly arrived from Singapore, Pacific Encounter’s stay in Sydney will be fleeting as the 1,298-suite ship will be based in Brisbane to continue the long tradition of homeporting P&O ships at the epicentre of the Queensland cruise market.

The flagship Pacific Explorer is homeported in Sydney and was the first of Australia’s P&O fleet to return home after more than two years.

Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia President Marguerite Fitzgerald said: “We are very proud to welcome Pacific Encounter to begin her P&O Cruises cruising career to offer our guests fantastic and memorable cruise experiences.”

Pacific Encounter cuts a shipshape silhouette in Sydney Harbour.

“It is very exciting to see the rebuilding of cruise tourism in Australia and its economic benefits as we look forward to its revival in the wider Pacific region along with a near-normal summer cruise season here. 

“It is fitting that with its heritage of 90 years of cruising from Australia, homegrown cruise line P&O Cruises Australia is leading the renaissance of cruising in this region.”

Three tugs operated by Engage Towage — Diamantina, Martinique and Fitzroy — were part of the escort for Pacific Encounter.

A tugboat escort for Pacific Encounter.

Referring to the tribute to maritime heroes, Port Authority of NSW CEO Philip Holliday said he was proud of the work of his team in leading the multi-agency response that saved bulk carrier Portland Bay, which lost power in stormy weather off Sydney last month. 

Engage Towage Director Mark Malone said: “We are proud to assist with the maiden arrival of the Pacific Encounter into Sydney, demonstrating our ongoing relationship with P&O Cruises Australia and continued support of the return of cruise ships into Australia.”

“The salute to our ‘hero tugs’ is a welcome gesture and a well-deserved credit to our crews.”

To find out more, visit pocruises.com.au