NCL’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Harry Sommer has resumed his attack on the lack of port facilities in Sydney, saying it is stopping his line sailing its newest and most technologically advanced ships in our waters.

Talking to Cruise Passenger aboard the first Prima Class ship in New York today,  Mr Sommer said despite a love for Sydney, solutions are needed to bring bigger ships into the harbour city.

One of my favourite individual destinations is Sydney. I’ll be down there in December and I really enjoy the sights and the sounds of the city.

I would love to bring the Prima class to Sydney. But, we obviously have huge limitations in Sydney. If we could convince the government to build another port or raise the bridge, then we would love to home port a ship in Sydney.

“The problem with OPT is that it’s booked 20 years in advance and a Prima class ship just simply cannot fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”


Norwegian Spirit
Sydney Harbour – Aerial view – Harbour Bridge, Opera House

However, Mr Sommer brings up what was a big point of discussion before the pandemic – the idea for a third Sydney cruise terminal at Yarra Bay.

“We have been advocating the idea of a third cruise terminal at Yarra Bay which I think would be an ideal location for another cruise terminal.”

Essentially, the Overseas Passenger Terminal only allows in one ship at the time and is always heavily book, or otherwise to dock at nearby White Bay the ships need to fit under the harbour bridge.

Mr Sommer says that due to Australia’s love for cruise, he’s quite bemused at the relative lack of progress.

Australia has the highest cruise penetration in the world. Even compared to Americans, per capital, more Australians have cruised and are willing to take a cruise.

“Yet the government is unwilling to make changes for a population that loves this type of holiday.”

As far as docking in Melbourne or Brisbane goes, Mr Sommer said Sydney is the ideal destination but still didn’t rule anything out.

“The benefit of Sydney is that it has the airlift and the clientele that want to cruise. And they are our target market. I’m not making any announcements but we could look at Melbourne as an option to bring a Prima class ship down to Australia.”

Norwegian will be sailing the completely refurbished Norwegian Spirit from Sydney this season.  Find out more here