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Could this be the answer to the debate over how to cope with our overcrowded harbour?

These exclusive designs were passed to Cruise Passenger by an industry source with the suggestion that they might just be a great addition to White Bay, Garden Island or the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

As our source suggested:  “It should be championed by the Common Sense Party!”

While the mock-ups outside the Opera House may see a little far fetched – we can imagine what would happen if Royal Caribbean were running a rock revival cruise there! – the pontoon system actually exists and is working well in Northern Europe.

It’s called SeaWalk, a floating pier which connects the ship to the shore with a stable 4.5 metre wide walkway.It  can be folded in and out within minutes and can handle a capacity of four to six thousand passengers per hour.

Norway's port

Norway is already an advocate of the ‘SeaWalk’, using it in three cruise destinations – Skjolden, Geiranger and North Cape.

It may only be an idea here in Australia, but it has its pros when you compare it to alternatives.

Firstly, it comes at a fraction of the cost of building a new port because it doesn’t require any fixed structure.

It can be built within six months to a year, which means lines like Royal Caribbean and Carnival can send more vessels Down Under sooner.

It has minimum impact to the environment because it doesn’t require much construction and it can be fitted away when it’s not in use.

And finally, cruise passengers will love it because they’ll arrive right in front of Sydney’s iconic Opera House.

The downside is that locals may not be too keen to see large ships parked right next door to the popular site…like the Opera House, for instance.

New South Wales premier Mike Baird and Carnival boss Ann Sherry are currently urging the Australian Navy to allow more cruise ships to dock at Sydney’s naval base, Garden Island.

What do you think of ‘SeaWalk’?

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