Pacific Eden will remain in Cairns util November (Image: James Morgan/P&O Cruises)
P&O Cruises' Pacific Eden has made history, becoming the first cruise ship ever to be based in Cairns, Australia.
The 1,500-guest ship embarked on her first roundtrip from the city on 10 September and will homeport in Cairns until 11 November, carrying an estimated 13,000 passengers on nine cruises to destinations like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Eight of these itineraries will be roundtrips, while one will be a repositioning cruise.
The inaugural season is expected to deliver more than AUS$6 million to the state of Queensland's economy in passenger and crew spending, provedoring and associated port charges. According to industry figures, domestic cruisers spend an average $483 a day on accommodation, shopping, dining and transport before boarding a ship in an Australian port.
Pacific Eden will also sail 10 cruises from Cairns between August and November 2017.
"We've had our eye on Cairns for many years and are thrilled to have the capacity to be able to base one of our latest ships in the city for the next two months,” said Simon Cheng, P&O Cruises’ vice president sales and marketing. “We have always seen Cairns as a cruising hotspot with great potential and Pacific Eden's mid-range size means she can berth at the cruise terminal right in the heart of the city providing a fantastic cruise experience for our guests."
Since launching in 1932, P&O Cruises Australia has expanded to offer five ships cruising year-round from eight homeports. According to industry figures, Queensland is the second biggest source market for Australian cruisers with more than 280,000 Queenslanders cruising in 2015. P&O ships now sail to 11 destinations along its coast, opening up new Queensland ports in recent years including Gladstone and Fraser Island earlier this year.
"The city's far north location lends itself to a range of idyllic itineraries featuring Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and being one of Australia's most popular tropical destinations, Cairns is also a fantastic draw card on its own," said Cheng.