Poor weather prevents Pacific Eden passengers from disembarking

EARLY EXIT: Tourists brave the windy conditions as they view the Pacific Eden from Merimbula's Short Point after its early departure from Eden.
EARLY EXIT: Tourists brave the windy conditions as they view the Pacific Eden from Merimbula's Short Point after its early departure from Eden.

Choppy conditions in Eden’s Twofold Bay prevented passengers and crew disembarking the Pacific Eden on Wednesday morning, November 15.

The captain deemed the conditions to be unsafe for tender rides between the ship and the Port of Eden, resulting in the P&O Cruises Australia vessel returning to Sydney.

The Cruise Eden meet and greet team and tour guides were ready to welcome more than 1500 passengers and crew as part of the first of 15 cruises to arrive in Eden for the 2017-18 season.

The Pacific Eden was on a three-night food and wine cruise, with Eden being the only port of call on the journey.

The poor conditions further underpin the necessity to extend the wharf to ensure passengers and crews can disembark cruise ships safely, regardless of the weather conditions.

The Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension project will allow cruise ships up to 325 metres in length and capable of accommodating up to 3200 passengers to be able to berth directly alongside the wharf extension rather than anchor offshore.

The project was given a boost on November 15 after it was announced that dredging of the bay had been completed ahead of schedule, with no noise complaints or other compliance issues reported.

The next phase of the project will see the installation of scour protection on the seabed using a crane barge and dive crew, so it might be a chance to see the dredge Machiavelli one last time before saying “arrivederci”.

The scour protection mattresses are made by pouring concrete into moulds, with the resulting structures laid on the seabed at Snug Cove. Scour protection is required to protect the sea bed and finished wharf from the turbulence created by cruise ship propulsion systems.

Despite small businesses across Eden missing out on potential income on Wednesday, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts more stable conditions to greet Holland America Line vessel Noordam when it arrives at 8am on Monday, November 20.

Moderate north easterly winds up to 12 knots are predicted for the Eden coast on Monday morning.