Sydney has a new record holder for the largest cruise ship ever to be based in Australian waters, with Ovation of the Seas venturing this morning into Sydney Harbour for the first time and pulling up alongside the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay.
Despite gloomy skies overhead and a dense fog rather unlike the heatwave which has struck the city in recent days, a water cannon led the ship’s procession into the harbour as the 4,905-passenger ship gently manoeuvred its way through the heads, past Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo, Fort Denison and the Sydney Opera House before turning in bow-first to dock right in the centre of the city for the next 36 hours or so.
Passengers on the arrival cruise from Singapore – which also called in Fremantle, Adelaide and Hobart – braved the cold and lined the top deck and any other vantage point to witness the spectacle – which included multiple news helicopters flying overhead, capturing the historic moment in Australia’s cruising timeline.
Ovation of the Seas will remain in Sydney Harbour until the early evening tomorrow, before it sets sail on its first round-trip voyage from the NSW capital – a 15-day itinerary to New Zealand. Before that though will come a grand party this evening hosted by Royal Caribbean which will include a special musical performance onboard from singing sensation Dami Im.