P&O Cruises’ latest ship Pacific Aria made her maiden visit at Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia on 27 January.
The 55,820gt ship, which was christened during a ceremony in Sydney last November, docked at Channel Berth at 8am as part of her first Australia Day cruise. The five-night roundtrip started in Brisbane, spent the day in Sydney Harbour on 26 January and is expected to inject close to AUS$300,000 into the local economy.
More than 1,500 guests spent the day exploring Newcastle’s city centre and surrounding areas including Stockton’s sand dunes, dolphin cruises at Port Stephens and food and wine tasting tours of the Hunter Valley. Pacific Aria left at 6pm and is due to return on 2 March as part of a dedicated four-night Newcastle cruise from Brisbane.
“Newcastle has a lot to offer our guests, from its beautiful beaches to the nearby Hunter Valley wine region,” said Sture Myrmell, P&O Cruises Australia president. “Its location between Melbourne and Brisbane makes it an ideal destination for our increasingly popular short breaks, providing a great way for holidaymakers from Victoria and Queensland to enjoy a long weekend indulging in some of the best food and wine Australia has to offer both onboard our ships and in the Hunter region.”
P&O accounts for almost half of the cruise calls to Newcastle this season, with three of its five-ship fleet scheduled to visit the city on five separate occasions between November 2015 and May 2016. Marking a significant increase on the line’s single visit during the 2014-2015 summer cruise season, this year’s five calls are expected to deliver a combined financial contribution of about AUS$1.5 million to the local economy.