Out and About

Two million reasons to roll out the red carpet

Tens of thousands of passengers will be welcomed by city ambassadors as more international cruise ships than ever before sail into Sydney in summer 2017, including the largest cruise vessel to ever enter our harbour.

With passengers from each arriving ship spending approximately $2 million during their stay, the cruise sector makes a significant impact on Sydney’s economy, benefiting the city’s businesses and communities.

A team of more than 60 ambassadors will meet and greet international visitors from a record-breaking 336 ships arriving at the Overseas Passenger Terminal and at White Bay throughout the summer season.

The City of Sydney’s local experts, who volunteer as ‘cruise ship ambassadors’, provide advice on all that Sydney has to offer, such as world-class shops and restaurants, theatres, museums, galleries and tourist attractions.

The ambassadors have their work cut out for them particularly when the biggest cruise ship ever to enter Sydney Harbour – Ovation of the Seas – carrying up to 5,000 passengers, sails into Sydney eight times during summer.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the ambassadors share local knowledge, tourist advice, directions and maps to help visitors make the most of all that Sydney has to offer.

“Cruise ship arrivals are the fastest growing area in the tourism sector and through our ambassadors we can promote Sydney and all its offerings to global visitors,’ the Lord Mayor said.

“Our cruise ship ambassadors make sure that everyone has a good time in Sydney by ensuring their trip, however brief, is smooth, memorable and unique.

“This is a great result for our economy as happy tourists will get their wallets out and support local jobs and businesses.

“With the number and size of crew ships coming into Sydney increasing, the City is continually on the lookout for more volunteers who enjoy meeting new people and showing off the best of Sydney.”

The ambassador program runs throughout the peak summer cruise season from October through to April. In 2015, more than 290 passenger vessels visited Sydney – one of the largest streams of visitors via cruise ships.

Brian Lawlor has been a Sydney volunteer for six years, greeting passengers at both White Bay and the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

“Every day we have passengers that tell us how special it is to have someone friendly on the ground helping them discover the best of Sydney,” Brian said.

“I get asked about everything from the best shopping and restaurants in Sydney, to directions to the Manly ferry and the Fish Market – and where to find cockatoos.

“I’ve had visitors come to me that I’ve helped on previous cruises and they remember me – one gentleman in particular was grateful for my services and gave me a pen as a thank you.

“We all take a lot of pride in hosting them, and ensuring they take great memories of our wonderful city back to their home countries.”

The Sydney cruise ship ambassadors is a joint project between the City of Sydney, Destination NSW and Sydney Ports.

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