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In state news, the first passenger cruise ship in nearly three years has arrived in Melbourne – marking another milestone in the city’s return to normalcy after the pandemic began.

Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess docked at Station Pier, Port Melbourne at 7:30 a.m. AEST. More than 2,500 passengers were on board.

The Coral Princess arrives in Melbourne earlier this morning. Credit:Darrian Traynor

Earlier this year, the Victorian state government announced plans to ease restrictions on cruise ships arriving in the city. Passengers must be double-vaccinated and crews are tested every 14 days.

The cruise liner arrived to much fanfare, with politicians and tourism chiefs entertained by samba dancers as a helicopter hovered overhead.

The industry was the source of several coronavirus outbreaks in the first year of the pandemic. The Coral Princess’ sister ship, the Ruby Princess, was the site of a major COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 that resulted in hundreds of infections across the country and 28 deaths.

Marguerite Fitzgerald, chairman of Carnival and P&O Cruises Australia, said today marked another milestone in rebuilding Australia’s $5 billion-a-year cruise industry.