P&O’s new ship, Pacific Aria, has become the first cruise ship in history to dock at the port of Cairns on the Queensland coast. The 55,820 tonne ship, which was launched alongside its sister ship Pacific Eden just last month, made its maiden voyage to the city last week — docking at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal located in the heart of city.
Proclaimed a game-changing move for the Australian cruise industry; Pacific Aria’s Cairns’ port call was a special moment for the 1,500 guests sailing aboard the ship as it made its way up the east coast from Brisbane. Aria remained in Cairns overnight, allowing passengers ample time to explore the sights and sounds of this stunning city before its return voyage to Brisbane a day later.
The ship will return to Cairns on two more occasions in 2015 (December 20-21 and December 30-31), during which time it will be joined by its sister vessel as Pacific Eden makes her Cairns debut on December 22. Both ships will continue sailing to the city during the 2016/17 cruise season, making a total of 17 calls between them in 2016 — a figure which will increase to 30 sailings in 2017.
The arrival of the P&O ships is expected to bring thousands of dollars worth of additional revenue to Cairns, a city which lies just a stone’s throw away from the Great Barrier Reef — arguably Australia’s best-loved tourist attraction.
During the 2016 cruise season, Pacific Eden will sail from Cairns on nine separate occasions, offering unique 7-night cruise breaks to Papua New Guinea — which P&O has recently included as part of its growing destination roster.
Sture Myrmell, senior vice president of P&O Australia, said: “With the growth of our fleet we’ve not only been able to offer more cruises which visit great ports such as Cairns and Port Douglas, we’ve also been able to base a ship in Cairns so that north Queensland residents can enjoy cruises from their own doorstep. It’s great news for holidaymakers and it’s also wonderful news for the Queensland economy.”
Also commenting on news of Pacific Aria’s arrival in Cairns; Russell Beer, chairman of Ports North who manage Cairns cruise terminal, enthused: “This is the first time a major cruise line has based itself in a regional Queensland city, and we are honoured to have Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria visiting the Port of Cairns during the peak cruise months.”
To keep up with the latest news from P&O Australia, as well as all other major cruise lines, be sure to check back with the Cruise1st team soon for further updates as they develop.