Cruise

P&O Cruises hits records down under

Hannah Edensor

In a week of cruise firsts, P&O Cruises is poised to make its maiden visits to Eden, Portland and Mornington as part of a new itinerary featuring regional Aussie gems.

During an eight-night roundtrip cruise which departs Sydney on February 21, Pacific Pearl will make P&O Cruises’ inaugural visit to Eden on the NSW South Coast on February 22, before becoming the first cruise ship to call at Mornington Peninsula and Portland in Victoria’s south.

Rounding out the foodie itinerary, the cruise will also include a call at Kangaroo Island, where guests can sample the island’s famed produce as part of a mini FEASTival, which will be laid out during each of P&O Cruises’ five visits to the South Australian port this year.

P&O Cruises senior VP Tammy Marshall said the cruise line was proud to be introducing its guests to some special new ports.

“We’re thrilled to be taking our guests to some of Australia’s most beautiful coastal areas, while also spreading the valuable cruise dollar further in what is sure to be a boon for these regional towns,” Marshall said.

Over the next 12 months, P&O Cruises will make five calls to Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, seven to Portland on the Great Ocean Road and five to Eden, injecting almost $7 million into the regional communities.

Esperance and Busselton in Western Australia will also join the growing line-up of regional ports in the months to come.

The regional cruises are in line with recent research undertaken by Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), which shows that 85% of Aussies who are planning to take some summer leave intend to have a domestic holiday.

The addition of two more ships, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, in November will take P&O Cruises’ fleet to a record five ships and pave the way for more itinerary options.

Other regional ports to benefit from the cruise line’s voyages include South Australia’s Port Lincoln, Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and Burnie and Port Arthur in Tasmania.

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