By Jill Innamorati-Varley and Ian Neubauer
Sydney saw two superliners sail into her harbour over the weekend: the Arcadia, which made a glorious entrance as part of her inaugural world voyage; and the Dawn Princess, which was forced to moor at a car park.
The 83,000-tonne Arcadia is the fourth P&O Cruises’ ship to bear the name Arcadia and stirred up fond memories among the thousands of Sydneysiders who immigrated to Australia on P&O Cruises’ second Arcadia as ‘ten-pound poms’ in the 1950s and 60s.
Today she carries almost 2000 passengers who consume 80 tonnes of food and drink each cruise and are serviced by a crew of 950. Every day the ship’s executive chef leads a team of 112 staff, creating some 12,000 meals. In addition 13,000 bottles of Champagne and wine are drunk and 550 gallons of draught beer and 49,000 cans of soft drinks consumed.
To mark the historic occasion, a group of past passengers who sailed on the second Arcadia enjoyed a reunion lunch onboard the ship on Saturday (Feb 21) where they had the chance to re-live their cruise memories.
One out of two ain’t bad. The Arcadia sails past the
coathanger and into the International Passenger
Terminal at Circular Quay. But the Dawn Princess had
to settle for an industrial car park under a lesser bridge.
The Dawn Princess also sailed into Sydney Harbour this weekend (Feb 22) but with significantly less aplomb. A logistical mix-up saw the vessel moor at White Bay — a massive car park under the Anzac Bridge that is anything but ‘touristy’.
More than 2000 international passengers were forced to shuffle through a shed and trundle their luggage over long distances to the road. Adding injury to insult, Carnival Australia, which operates the ship, had to fork out $35000 in coach hire to take 1000 of them to the airport, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry, was understandably incensed. “You cannot bring passengers, who are a major contributor to Australia’s tourism, into what is essentially a car park,” she said.