Skipped to content
31/05/2022 03:18 PM

The Pacific Explorer setting sail today will be the first of over 40 cruise ships scheduled to visit NSW during the next financial year, expected to generate billions of dollars for the NSW economy and thousands of jobs.

Port Authority of NSW CEO, Captain Philip Holliday said everything is pointing to a really positive restart for cruise with over 40 different ships from 25 different cruise lines now scheduled to make more than 300 calls in NSW, including some multli-day stays, through the next financial year. 

“This is far closer to pre-pandemic figures than expected so it is a remarkable bounce back in the cruising market, particularly domestic cruises, and demonstrates Australians are keen to get back out on the water for their next holiday.

“Our people here at Port Authority including our Marine Pilots, cruise terminal workers and our on-water crews have been preparing for this time and are ready and raring to go.”

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott said with 1 in 17 Australians having cruised before the pandemic, it is not unexpected that up to a million passengers are expected to cruise over the 2022/23 season ahead.

“Cruise is an economic powerhouse because its impacts are felt from the farm gate, through our freight and supply chains all the way to our tourism destinations – it generates jobs far beyond the ship, boosts regional economies and supports farming communities.

“Prior to the pandemic, the cruise industry contributed an estimated $3.3 billion total expenditure to the NSW economy and contributed more than 11,000 jobs to the whole of NSW in 2018-19.

“In 2017-18, the industry contributed around $1.54 billion to the Sydney economy that year.”

Marguerite Fitzgerald, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, said today is an emotional moment in time for so many people who have looked forward to the resumption of cruise operations in Australia and the rebirth of the $5 billion a year Australian cruise industry. 

"We thank Minister Elliott and the NSW Government for their enthusiastic support of the restart of cruising."

Cruise season in Australia is between December and April.  Winter is traditionally the quietest time for cruise in the southern Hemisphere.

The Cruise Schedule is a live document, updated as changes occur and publicly accessible here: Cruise | Port Authority New South Wales (

Sydney was voted Best Australian Port in their Cruise Passengers annual Readers’ Choice Awards in 2020 and named Best Homeport by editors of the world’s largest cruise reviews site, Cruise Critic in 2019.