A full schedule of activity will keep all eyes on Sydney Harbour today as four of five ships from P&O Cruises cruise into the NSW capital for Australia Day.

Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden will enjoy their first Australia Day as part of the P&O Cruises fleet, joined by Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel, collectively carrying more than 6,500 guests who will have an outstanding view of all the harbour events during the public holiday. In addition, Eden will be carrying the cast and crew of Channel 7’s breakfast TV show Sunrise as the network kicks off the day with a special broadcast from the ship’s decks.

The four ships will arrive in the harbour before 9am, with Pearl and Eden spending the day anchored at Point Piper and Athol Buoy respectively. Jewel and Aria will head to White Bay Cruise Terminal, both making stops on their four and five-night round-trip cruises from Melbourne and Brisbane.

Guests onboard (and those around the foreshore if you’d like to head in to watch) will have excellent viewing of the following activities:

  • The annual and traditional Ferrython, which sees four decorated Sydney Ferries “race” around Shark Island and back under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a highly coordinated but no less exciting occasion. Which one will win this year? Race kicks off from 11am.
  • Sing the Australian National Anthem along with choirs situated around the waterfront. The singing will be capped off with a flyover of the RAAF jets.
  • At midday, the Tug & Yacht ballet is an amusing spectacle which sees ten Eastsail yachts and two tugboats create unique patterns on the water as they spin and pirouette to the tune of music which will be audible across the entire harbour.
  • Also from noon, two Cruising Concerts on two custom-built floating stages will slowly move around the harbour, one labelled ‘Enormous Horns’ showcasing an eight-piece party band and the other ‘Junkyard Beats’ offering a unique melody from household objects.
  • A parade of classic Tall Ships will begin parading the harbour from 1pm, with vessels of all shapes and sizes encouraged to decorate their boat with Australian flags and other objects of national significance to be in with a chance to win the Best Dressed Vessel award.
  • The Tall Ships will then race from Fort Denison back to the Harbour Bridge.

On land at the nearby Museum of Sydney between 9am and 3pm, everyone is invited to help Certified LEGO Professional builder Ryan McNaught construct one of the P&O Cruises vessels – Pacific Eden – out of tens of thousands of LEGO bricks. The activity is part of the museum’s ‘Sydney Harbour Icons with LEGO Bricks,’ on display until 31 July (read more HERE).

Capping off the day of Australia Day celebrations will be a five-minute fireworks display east of Fort Denison firing up from 9:30pm, after which each of the P&O Cruises ships will depart. It’s sure to once again be a day full of fun and excitement all around Sydney Harbour.