Sydney Ports Corporation’s new $57-million White Bay Cruise Terminal has been trialled this morning with the arrival of P&O cruise liner, the Pacific Pearl.

The 63-thousand tonne ship berthed at 7am with almost 2,000 passengers disembarking for the first time through the state-of-the-art terminal.

Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay said this milestone highlights the NSW Government’s commitment to meeting the huge boom in demand for cruise in Sydney.

“We are just coming to the close of what has been another record Sydney cruise season with 265 ship visits and we have already taken more than 280 bookings for next season.

“Given the unprecedented growth in cruising, this new terminal is very timely indeed - its vast open plan arrivals and departures halls are designed to cater for 2,400 passengers at a time, Mr Gay said.

“We have also constructed a dedicated terminal access road to ensure minimal impact on local streets by port traffic.

“The critical elements of size, layout and capability to enforce modern maritime security  requirements were already in place so when you add the ability to use the neighbouring  White Bay 4 to simultaneously host a second cruise ship, White Bay has a lot going for I, meaning Sydney can now comfortably host up to three cruise ships alongside at any one time.

“The public will also have pedestrian and cycling access to the waterfront adjacent to the  Terminal when there are no ship activities  – that’s the first time in 45 years the public has  been able to access this waterfront.”

Mr Gay said that when construction of the terminal began in March last year, consultation  with all key stakeholders was a major focus.

“Leichhardt Council, local businesses and community members, along with the cruise  industry, government agencies and tourism organizations, were all involved as the terminal  progressed through planning, design and construction," he said.

“This was done through a wide range of general and targeted pr ocesses including  structured industry and community workshops. Minister Gay said White Bay has always played a big role in Sydney’s economy, its  commercial shipping history dating back to the mid - 19 th century, handling just about  everything from timber a nd paper, coal, sugar, wheat and cement to cars and containers.”  

“Now as a cruise terminal, it will continue contributing to Sydney’s economy, serving not  only as a cruise terminal, but as a part - time function centre serving community events on  non - ship  days. Minister Gay said the NSW Government is now turning its focus to an upgrade of the  Overseas Passenger  Terminal  – a $30 - million Masterplan is now under review.