The ship had left Sydney on Friday on a three-night cruise to nowhere and returned as scheduled on Monday.
On Sunday she came back into Sydney harbour for the transfer of the unruly passengers into a waiting police boat -- to the applause of other passengers lining the decks -- and immediately set sail again to resume the short-break cruise.
‘P&O Cruises asked the New South Wales Police Marine Area Command to attend Pacific Explorer to remove a group of people from the ship as a result of their behaviour on board overnight,’ a company statement said.
‘This is in line with our strict policy of zero tolerance of excessive behaviour that affects the safety, comfort and enjoyment of other guests.
‘While these occurrences are rare, we have no hesitation in taking strong action when necessary to adhere to this policy.‘
The police met the ship inside the harbour to conduct the transfer of the group.
‘We are assisting the police in their inquiries.‘The group will no longer be welcome to travel with P&O Cruises or any of its associated brands.’