P&O Australia Cruises’ Pacific Encounter has called into Sydney Harbor for the first time and made her entrance amid big jets from water cannon tugs, according to a press release.
When the Pacific Encounter arrived in Sydney for its brief stay, the words “hero tugs” flashed up on the top deck big screen as a tribute to maritime heroes, according to P&O Cruises.
“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. It is wonderful that we can also use today’s arrival as an opportunity to salute the hero tugs of Sydney and everyone who does so much to support cruise shipping and the maritime sector in general. 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,” said Marguerite Fitzgerald, president of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia.
The Pacific Encounter was escorted by three tugs operated by Engage Towage. The operation to save the bulk carrier Portland Bay after it lost power in bad weather last month involved all three and their tenacious crews.
With local marine engineering and technical services joining the Pacific Encounter and more than half a million kilograms of locally sourced products being loaded to start the ship’s cruising schedule, the ship’s arrival in Sydney will also provide a significant economic boost to the city.
“Port Authority of NSW has a strong capability and history of responding to marine incidents such as this and working with a number of key agencies who stand ready day and night to spring into action when needed,” commented Philip Holliday, chief executive officer, Port Authority of NSW.