Sydney Cruise Port is the busiest Australian homeport and ship travel destination. Sydney Harbour itself is a scenic destination with a lot of boat tours. The city's best-known attractions are the futuristic-designed Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 1932-opened arch bridge carries all the traffic (rail, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrian) between the CBD (city's central business district) and North Shore's suburbs.
The cruise industry is Australia's fastest-growing economic sector with worth ~AUD 5 billion to the NSW alone. It supports over 20,000 local jobs. ISeason 2015-2016 statistics showed 325 cruise ship visits to NSW.
Port Sydney NSW
All Sydney's seaport facilities are managed by Sydney Ports Corporation - an NSW Government-owned company also responsible for the seaport's development and facilities within Sydney Metro. Two more (smaller) ports are in Eden and Yamba.
In April 2013, the NSW Government announced granted a 99-year lease (until 2112) to the NSW Ports Consortium for AUD 4,31 billion. The lease was granted together with a lease for Port Kembla for AUD 760 million. Of the sale proceeds, over AUD 2 billion were allocated for road infrastructure projects.
Under Sydney Ports Corporation management are the following ports:
- Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) with 11 berths serving dry and liquid bulk carriers, general cargo ships, cruise terminal (Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay).
- Port Botany (Botany Bay, approx 13 km / 8 ml south of city's central business district) has a terminal for liquid bulk carriers, a storage facility and 2 container terminals.
- Port Enfield (Logistics Centre) has a freight railway connecting it with Port Botany.
- Port St Peters hauses the Cooks River Rail Depot and a Container Park.
- Since 2011, Sydney Ports Corporation also manages Port Eden Port Yamba.
On April 9, 2018, the new China-built gantry crane (by ZPMC / "Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries") was delivered at Sydney Container Terminal. Same ZPMC cranes (serving large container ships) were also delivered and installed in Brisbane (one, in April) and Melbourne (two, in March).
- The equipment (a total of 9 gantry cranes) was ordered by DP World Australia (Australia's main and largest container port and supply chain operator) to serve the country's container terminals. By this USD 180 million project were also delivered 20x straddle trucks, 4x RTGs (rubber-tyred gantry cranes), 38x forklifts (industrial trucks).
- Each of the 9x ZPMC cranes costs USD 14 million, has rated capacity 65 tons (under spreader) and 75 tons (under heavy lift beam), rail gauge 25,3 m, above rail hoist height 38 m, hoist speed 90 m per min (loaded) and 180 m / min (unloaded).
Sydney NSW cruise port
The port's cruise schedule has ships operating on Cruises to Nowhere, roundtrip itineraries to ports in Queensland, Tasmania, New Zealand and South Pacific Islands (New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu). Longer (repositioning) cruises go to ports in Asia (some all the way to China and Japan) and North America (via Honolulu Hawaii).
On November 27, 2015, in Sydney Harbour met two of the largest Australia-homeported cruise ships - RCI Royal Caribbean's vessels Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, carrying over 10,000 passengers and crew. The Explorer was finishing a 16-night Australia and New Zealand itinerary from Fremantle, while the Voyager started a 7-night itinerary to Melbourne. Both ships are from RCI's Voyager-class series, with gross tonnage 138,194 tons and LOA length 311 m (1020 ft), For season 2015-2016, RCI had all 4 ships - plus the couple Radiance of the Seas (homeport Sydney) and Legend of the Seas (homeport Brisbane, currently operates as Marella Discovery 2 for Marella Cruises UK). With this fleet, Royal Caribbean made a total investment of over USD 280 million in the Australian market.
In 2017, RCI extended the second season (2017-2018) of the ever largest Australia-homeported ship - Ovation of the Seas - by additional 6 cruises or 5 weeks homeporting in Sydney. Ovation was scheduled to make a total of 9 itineraries during the liner's 2nd Sydney-based season (departures November 2017 through February 2018). The newly added roundtrips in 2018 were: 8-night "South Pacific" (departure February 18), 10-night to New Zealand (departures February 26, March 13), 5-night to Tasmania (departure March 8), 3-night sampler Cruise to Nowhere (departure March 23) and the 14-night repositioning cruise to Singapore (departure March 26). The mega liner arrived for the first time in Sydney on December 15, 2016. and was scheduled to leave the homeport on January 23, 2017 and return to China. However, as the large cruise ship had exceeded all the Royal Caribbean Australia's expectations, they decided to add the 4 extra itineraries to meet the market's demand.
For season 2017-2018, Australia's fastest-growing tourism sector suffered a blow with major consequences for NSW's economy as cruise shipping companies started to bypass Port Sydney in favour of Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland New Zealand and even further (homeporting in Asia instead). The decision for ship re-deploynment was due to Sydney Harbour’s Overseas Passenger Terminal incapacity to berth larger vessels.
For season 2017-2018, Australia's 2nd biggest cruise shipping company Royal Caribbean redeployed Voyager of the Seas to Singapore and China for year-round turnaround operations. RCI's ship Radiance of the Seas was also re-scheduled to not stop in Sydney, replacing the port of call with Melbourne and New Zealand. With just Voyager OTS, Port Sydney lost around 65,000 guests a year, which was estimated at approx AUD 32 million in passenger spending.
Australia’s biggest cruise shipping company - Carnival Australia, represents a group of 7 brands on the market, the largest of which are P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises. A Carnival also struggles to berth in Sydney NSW, the company moved some of its vessels to Brisbane and Melbourne. For 2018, Carnival Legend had scheduled all 10 itineraries leaving roundtrip from Melbourne. Another Carnival Corporation-owned company - Cunard, was willing to homeport the ship Queen Elizabeth in Sydney for a record -2 month-long Australian season (February through April 2019) - Cunard's ever longest season in Australia. However, while the Cunard's preference was to homeport the ship in Sydney, due to unavailable berths, 3 of the pre-scheduled itineraries were changed for roundtrips from Melbourne.
- Among the suggested solutions for this crisis was cruise ships to share access to Garden Island with the Royal Australian Navy. Previously, Royal Caribbean (RCCL) was willing to invest tens of millions of dollars in building a new cruise terminal in Botany Bay.
- Season 2017-2018 was the cruise port's record year with scheduled a total of 90 ship visits and over 130,000 passengers and crew. The estimated economic impact was around AUD 30 million.
Sydney cruise terminal
Sydney Harbour is one of the top cruise ports in the world. It is located on the eastern Australian coast with the Blue Mountains on the west. The demand of cruises rises every year and the voyages from Sydney Cruise Port terminals are over 150.
Sydney Harbour (aka Port Jackson) has attracted visitors, settlers, business men and traders for a long time. The city of Sydney has a population of more than 4 million and it is the biggest Ozzie city. The harbor has two cruise terminals – the White Bay and the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Three cruise ships can anchor at the same time at Sydney Cruise port terminals.
(NEW) Yarra Bay Cruise Terminal
For 2020 was planned to start the construction works for a new passenger terminal at Yarra Bay (east of Sydney Harbour Bridge). However, these plans were temporary suspended (for 18 months) due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis seriously impacted Australia (Sydney mostly) and resulted in worldwide shutdown of all cruise shipping operations.
The Yarra Bay project is an initiative of RCCL-Royal Caribbean, with co-funding from the NSW Government.
White Bay Cruise Terminal
White Bay cruise terminal operates since 2013. It is transformed ro-ro (grain) terminal. The Sydney cruise port terminal is open and large, capable to process more than 2000 tourists. Next to White Bay there is a drop off areas and a short time park zone. The Sydney cruise port terminal can accommodate two vessels at the same time – at pier 4 and pier 5. White Bay is close to the center of Sydney and close to Sydney Harbour Bridge. That makes it unavailable for the biggest cruise vessels due to under Sydney Harbour Bridge height restrictions.
Overseas Passenger Terminal
The second Sydney Cruise port terminal is situated at the Circular Quay. It is very close to main sights in Sydney, just across the Opera House. The building is a modern one with a lot of facilities.
The Overseas Passenger Terminal offers also a breathtaking Sydney Harbour view. The terminal serves larger cruise ships.
Sydney tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Sydney is the New South Wales capital. It is among the high ranked for quality of life cities and one of the most beautiful places to visit. It is a great tourist destination and you must not miss:
- The Rocks: historical area with cafes, bars, shops, restaurants and galleries. Explore the Campbells Storehouse, Susannah Place, the Merchants House and Cadman’s Cottage. Next to Circular Quay. Is the Rocks area.
- Sydney Opera House: located on the Sydney Harbor at Bennelong Point. Jørn Utzon is the deigner of this world architectural wonder. Its opening was in 1973. It is near the Overseas Passenger Terminal and there you can enjoy amazing opera or ballet performances.
- Royal Botanic Gardens: a green oasis located between the busy Sydney center and the blue ocean.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge: see the Pylon Lookout or participate in the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb.
- Bondi Beach: the surfing home, the center of sun, fun and surf. Enjoy that beautiful white sanded beach, 45 min away from Circular Quay by bus 380.
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