The biggest cruise ship to enter Sydney Harbour made its way through the heads this morning, putting on a show despite the weather.

Sydney welcomed the $1.3 billion ‘Ovation of the Seas’ a super cruiser set to revolutionise the cruising experience, crowning Sydney as her home port.

The mega-liner is the fourth-largest cruise ship in the world and the largest cruise ship to be based in Australia, having taken the record from Explorer of the Seas, a 3800-guest, 138,000-tonne ship that arrived in November 2015.

As the $1.3 billion Ovation of the Seas cruised into her new homeport for summer, NSW is set to receive the flow-on of millions of dollars into its economy.

Measuring nearly 350 metres long, the fourth-largest ship in the world birthed at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay at dawn today.

On board were 4286 guests  who travelled from Singapore to Sydney and will disembark on Thursday morning.

Ovation of the Seas will stay in dock at the terminal overnight with 4618 new guests embarking on Thursday afternoon, before setting sail at 4pm on Friday  on a New Zealand cruise.

Minister for Trade Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said cruising is already the fastest growing tourism sector in Australia and the arrival of Ovation of the Seas marks the mid-point in the biggest cruise season in the state’s history.

“One in four Australians already ‘cruise’ and this incredible vessel will redefine the customer experience and most importantly inject millions back into our economy,” Mr Ayres said.

“With a record 336 ships scheduled to visit the state by next April, NSW continues to grab the lion’s share of the country’s $3.6 billion cruise dollar with 67 per cent of Australia’s cruise revenue generated right here in our state.

“Sydney is the ideal home port for a vessel offering passengers experiences ranging from the chance to sky dive at sea, grab a cocktail from a robotic bartender, dine at Jamie Oliver’s first floating Australian restaurant or swan around a $5.9 million, 11,000 piece art collection.”

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said the NSW Government has made massive investments in cruising infrastructure including $135 million to ensure Sydney can continue to attract cruise ships from around the world.

“The upgraded Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) meets ship turnaround time needs better than ever before – faster turnaround means more cruise liners can come into Sydney on any one day,” Mr Gay said.

“The NSW Government is committed to keeping Sydney open, available and accessible to the growing number of ships wanting to come here.”

More than 1 million Australians or 4.5 per cent of the population cruise each year, with this number set to double by 2020. Ovation of the Seas, capable of carrying 5000 passengers, becomes the biggest, newest and the most technologically advanced cruise ship to ever call Australia home.

FAST FACTS

  • At 168,666 gross register tonnage (internal volume, not weight) Ovation of the Seas could fit 843 million mangoes.
  • It can carry almost 6500 guests and passengers — eight times as many as an Airbus A380.
  • If stood upright, at 347m the ship is almost as tall as Uluru.
  • At 92m high the North Star gondola capsule is higher than a Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon.
  • Ovation’s four bow thrusters produce 4694 horsepower each — more than double the horsepower of a five-car city train.
  • At 41m wide, Ovation is about as wide as 17 Adelaide trams or 14 Melbourne trams.
  • With 2091 staterooms and carrying 4905 guests at full capacity, Ovation will be the biggest hotel in the nation — more than triple the rooms of the Crown Metropol in Melbourne and the Four Points Sheraton in Sydney.

Exclusive Photos of Ovation of the Seas

Everyone's attention is Bionic Bar with two robotic bartenders.

Everyone’s attention is Bionic Bar with two robotic bartenders.

The North Star is a glass pod that rises 90 metres above the sea, with 360-degree views.

The North Star is a glass pod that rises 90 metres above the sea, with 360-degree views.

Outdoors North Star bar, with its view out over the pool.

Outdoors North Star bar, with its view out over the pool.

American Icon Grill does an a la carte breakfast.

American Icon Grill does an a la carte breakfast.

To stop the spread of germs, you're funneled past the basins to wash your hands before heading to the buffet dining area.

To stop the spread of germs, you’re funneled past the basins to wash your hands before heading to the buffet dining area.