Source: Traveller/ James D. Morgan
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  • The first cruise ship to arrive in Sydney since borders were closed due to the pandemic was welcomed by the harbour city yesterday
  • Just one day after Australia’s cruise ship ban was lifted, P&O’s Pacific Explorer docked at Circular Quay
  • The Pacific Explorer had been sitting in Cyprus with many other cruise ships as COVID-19 led to the the industry being shut down
  • The ship will depart Sydney and head to Brisbane with its first passengers on May 31
  • Also on Monday, Australia scrapped its COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers entering or leaving the country

The first cruise ship to dock in Sydney since borders were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived yesterday.

Just one day after Australia’s cruise ship ban was lifted, P&O’s Pacific Explorer entered Circular Quay at about 10:30 am.

Tug boats carrying water cannons showered the ship, which had 250 staff aboard but no passengers.

The Pacific Explorer was previously anchored in Cyprus with many other cruise ships as the industry was shut down as a result of the coronavirus.

The ship will depart Sydney with its first passengers on May 31, when it sails to Brisbane.

The billion-dollar cruise industry was crippled by the ban that followed the outbreak aboard the Ruby Princess at the beginning of the pandemic.

NSW, Victoria and Queensland were expected to see a gradual return of cruising in the coming months.

Passengers will need to be double vaccinated.

Also on Monday, Australia scrapped its COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers entering or leaving the country.

Overseas travellers no longer needed to provide a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test before flying.

International travellers still must be double vaccinated and masks will remain mandated on international flights.

Unvaccinated travellers will need to quarantine on arrival in Australia at their own expense.

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