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Cruise ship visits Port Arthur

19/01/2007

In the convict era, most people - convicts or otherwise - arrived at Port Arthur by sea.

Modern roads and the motor car mean that the historic site is now a little over an hour's drive from Hobart, so a major arrival by sea is something of a red letter day.

The cruise ship Pacific Princess anchored in Masons Cove today, bringing with her over 600 passengers for day trips and sightseeing.

Transferring that number of passengers is a major logistical exercise. The Pacific Princess has a number of tender vessels, but the operation required careful coordination by Port Arthur's Visitor Services team.

The time of year and its attendant low tides combined with the low-lying tender vessels meant that special extensions had to be inserted into the ferry terminal's walkway to lower it sufficiently for access. The operations also needed to be coordinated with the Marana's regular harbour cruise schedule.

The Pacific Princess manouvered well into the cove, creating an impressive sight. She sails for Sydney this evening at 6pm. Her visit is one of a number of stopovers by cruise ships and other vessels expected at Port Arthur this season.

Cruise ship visits Port Arthur

The Pacific Princess at anchor off Port Arthur

Cruise ship visits Port Arthur

The vessel's sleek, modern lines contrast with the natural surroundings.

Cruise ship visits Port Arthur

The jetty needed modification to lower sufficiently for access.