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Explorer’s triumphant return

P&O Cruises Australia's Pacific Explorer returned to Sydney to a stunning welcome last month, after a two-year absence from local waters.

P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Explorer returned to Sydney to a stunning welcome last month, after a two-year absence from local waters.
The cruise line’s flagship was welcomed with a ceremonial water cannon salute, marking the formal restart of the $5 billion per year Australian cruise industry.
Explorer passed through Sydney Heads at about 9.30am on the 18 April, before gliding into Circular Quay mid-morning, escorted by a number of official and private vessels.
Her arrival marked a 28-day voyage from Europe, where she had been paused for much of the past two years waiting to come home to Australia.
Carnival Corporation President Australia Marguerite Fitzgerald, who was present aboard a P&O-chartered vessel, told travelBulletin the phones at the cruise line’s local call centres had been “overwhelmed”.
“I think what’s really important about today is that it’s a real signal that this isn’t a false start… this is really the cruise industry resuming,” she said.
“Even though it’s the three eastern states who announced the protocols, all the states are in conversation with us about what it would look like to resume cruising.
“We continue to expect to see guests coming back.”

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