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New, custom-built walkways are being installed at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal to hasten the process of growing number of passengers from larger cruise ships.

The two giant, fully-assembled gangways which will be operational in time for 2019-20 cruise season, can move 1200 passengers every 30 minutes.

The OPT is fast reaching its capacity to efficiently service the growing number of larger cruise ships visiting and home porting here. More than 300 cruise ships will call at Sydney’s two cruise terminals – the OPT and White Bay Cruise Terminal – and an estimated 1.6 million passengers are expected this season.

 

The terminals must have the capacity to turn around in half a day ships carrying more than 5000 passengers – getting 5000 people off the ship and getting another 5000 on the ship. It must also accommodate growing number of taxis, ubers, buses, vans which are picking up or dropping off passengers and an army of trucks supplying the ship’s stores.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s bid for a third cruise terminal has moved a step closer with the NSW government starting a “market engagement process” on two sites near Port Botany, Yarra Bay and Molineaux Point.

The Port Authority of NSW will hold a series of one-to-one meetings with the private sector and cruise lines to get market information on the viability, industry appetite, capacity and capability to deliver new cruise infrastructure.

The meetings are scheduled to take place between 8 and 25 October.

Organisations with a strong track record in the design, funding, financing, development, delivery and operation of major cruise or port infrastructure in Australia or overseas are asked to register their interest at www.portaauthoritynsw.com.au/industrycruise

“There will also be a strong emphasis on consulting with local stakeholders and the community to help shape a potential third cruise terminal,” said a Port Authority spokesperson.

Any signs of a solution in the long-running saga of Sydney’s struggling capacity to handle the expansion of cruise will be a huge relief for industry chiefs, who have been complaining for years about the lack of space for larger ships which won’t go under the Harbour Bridge.

The cruise industry generates $2.75 billion for the state’s economy a year.