A file image of the Ruby Princess docking at Port Kembla
A file image of the Ruby Princess docking at Port Kembla

Police sift through Ruby Princess surveys

More than 5600 people will be sent online questionnaires regarding the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship as part of what may be one of NSW Police's biggest ever investigations.

The 2647 passengers who disembarked the Ruby Princess in Sydney on March 19, as well as the 2995 passengers on the preceding voyage which docked on March 8, will next week receive the questionnaire on what they saw and heard during the cruises.

Police will then conduct interviews with those who give noteworthy responses.

Passengers who arrived home from the second Ruby Princess voyage to New Zealand were permitted to disembark without adequate health checks. The ship is connected to 19 COVID-19 deaths to date.

Authorities handling the probe are investigating if criminal negligence took place by operator Princess Cruises or Ruby Princess crew members in the March 19 disembarkation of the ship, as well as any failures of NSW or Commonwealth departments.

A special commission of inquiry overseen by barrister Bret Walker SC is running in parallel to the police probe, while a coronial inquest remains a possibility.

Mr Walker's inquiry is expected to finalise before the NSW Police probe.