Sydney Harbour currently has two dedicated passenger terminals; the Overseas Passenger Terminal and the White Bay Cruise Terminal.
Prior to the White Bay Cruise Terminal being opened in April 2013, the second cruise terminal was originally located at Darling Harbour Wharf 8 until it was relocated to a temporary site at Darling Harbour 5 (otherwise known as Barangaroo) to accommodate the development of the Barangaroo site.
On 20 December 2009, the Premier announced that the NSW Government decided to permanently relocate the Darling Harbour Wharf 8 Cruise Passenger Terminal to White Bay, in accordance with the recommendation from the Passenger Cruise Terminal Steering Committee, subject to planning approval being obtained.
White Bay was the preferred location for a replacement domestic Cruise Terminal in Sydney Harbour for the following reasons:
- the facility would be contained within an existing port precinct (and hence would utilise existing valuable port infrastructure)
- the site provides a high level of control which will assist in enforcing maritime security legislative requirements, particularly during instances of heightened levels of threat
- two cruise passenger ships can be berthed at the same time with the use of the adjacent berth at White Bay 4, which allows Sydney to continue to provide berths for up to three passenger ships in port at any one time
- the site includes adequate space for staging and servicing of the Cruise Terminal
- the site allows flexibility to meet operators' space and facility requirements
- the site will be easily accessible prior to cruise ship visits by Shipping Agents and operators for deliveries
- the site enables the provision of adequate storage facilities in a secured area.
The Minister for Planning approved construction and operation of the White Bay Cruise Terminal on 2 February 2011.
On 15 April 2013, P&O Cruise Liner Pacific Pearl arrived in Sydney Harbour and was the first vessel to berth at the new terminal.