In keeping with my aim to view my city as a tourist, I've been walking around the city at lunch-times instead of eating lunch at my desk.
I work close to Terminal 8 , which is the Darling Harbour cruise ship terminal. It's the terminal for "smaller" cruise ships - i.e. the ones that can fit under the harbour bridge. Here are a few shots of the little ships: And here's one from the other side of the harbour, looking back towards Darling Harbour and Terminal 8:
The larger cruise ships dock at the overseas passenger terminal at Circular Quay. The super-liners, however, have to dock at the naval base at Garden Island.
The area you see in the foreground of photos 2 and 3 is where the container shipping yard used to be before it was moved to Botany Bay. It's going to be turned into parkland, office and residential areas, which is great on one hand, and sad on the other because that's part of Sydney's working harbour history gone. And they'll be getting rid of Terminal 8 too. I'm betting that the developers of the site decided that having a cruise liner parked beside some office towers would spoil the water views.
So it'll be shunted over to Balmain, which will cause traffic hell for residents and will be a disappointment for travellers. Imagine thinking you'll be in the thick of things in Sydney, while in reality you'll be parked in the suburbs! I'd want my money back!
The cruise season (October to March-ish) is over, so there aren't as many ships in port as there have been. It's still a pretty spectacular sight when they reverse out of the berth and do a 180 degree swivel on the spot because there's not much room between the quay and the Balmain headland. To have that degree of control over such a huge vessel in such a tight space is very impressive. I'll try and take some shots of it happening next time I see it.
Still, I don't think I'd enjoy cruising. Imagine being stuck on a ship with hundreds of other people for days at a time. No thanks. More like a floating RSL club than a nice holiday!
7 months ago