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Cruise passengers to disembark in middle of harbor  Feb 08, 2009

Thousands of cruise ship passengers will be forced to disembark at a buoy in the middle of Sydney Harbor later this week because all other shipping berths are being used.

When the cruise liner Rhapsody of the Seas arrives in Sydney on Tuesday it will not dock at any of the usual shipping terminals.

They are full and the ship will instead anchor at a harbor buoy and its passengers taken to land by a smaller boat.

Phil Rosser from the Sydney Ports Corporation says it is a first for Sydney Harbor.

"We've planned it meticulously with all of the authorities and with the cruise line involved, and if we thought there was one element of risk we wouldn't be doing this," he said.

Opposition ports spokesman Andrew Stoner says it is a worry.

"This can only be bad for the tourism industry and ultimately for the New South Wales economy," he said.

The Ports Corporation says it common practice overseas for passengers to disembark at offshore buoys.

Cruise passengers to disembark in middle of harbor
Sydney Harbor / Image via

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