than 1700 Nines supporters have sailed into Auckland this morning on P&O's Pacific
Pearl, marking the start of a four-month season of cruises from New Zealand estimated
to contribute $20 million to the nation's economy.
40 per cent of guests on the P&O cruise are Australian, boosting the number
of international visitors to the two-day Downer NRL Auckland Nines event which
four night cruise, which departed Sydney on January 31 was joined by famous
past players, providing the ultimate way for fans to prepare for the biggest
rugby league event in the New Zealand calendar.
were joined by Rugby League personalities Steve Price, Steve Menzies and Brad Fittler
and renowned former referee, Bill Harrigan, who hosted footy-themed
activities, meet-and-greets and Q&A sessions with fans during their cruise
across the Tasman.
Pearl's arrival marks the start of a special year of cruising for New Zealanders,
with the cruise line offering two seasons from Auckland in 2017.
will be based in Auckland until March 27 for her final season of cruises from
New Zealand before she leaves the P&O fleet. Then in September, her sister
ship - the 2000-guest Pacific Jewel - will arrive in Auckland to offer
P&O's first ever season of spring cruising, sailing on 8 roundtrip itineraries
from the city until October 31.
Between them the two ships will carry about 30,000 New Zealanders on
cruise holidays, underlining the growing popularity of cruising amongst Kiwis.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the cruise line was excited
to offer two New Zealand cruise seasons in 2017.
"With 18 cruises sailing from Auckland throughout the year, we will be giving
New Zealanders the biggest ever selection of cruises from their doorstep. It's all part of our commitment to investing in New
Zealand and bringing more choice to the market," Mr Myrmell said.
"Our cruises will also be making a valuable economic contribution, with guest
and crew spending, provedoring and port charges expected to contribute close to
$20 million into the local economy.
Mr Myrmell said P&O, which was recently announced as the Official
Cruise Line Partner of the NRL in 2017, was excited to be bringing more rugby
league fans to New Zealand for the Nines.
our guests are big fans of the game, so it's fantastic to be able to offer an exciting line up of rugby league cruises this year including the Nines.
transport, accommodation and meals all included in the cruise fare plus
transfers and entry to the game, cruising to the Downer NRL Auckland Nines with
P&O is a great value way to experience one of the most exciting competitions in the Rugby League calendar, " Mr
information visit pocruises.com.au, call 13 24 94 or see a licensed travel
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About P&O Cruises
Sailing local waters for almost 85 years, P&O is Australia and New
Zealand's only homegrown cruise line and the largest cruise operator in the
region, offering a fleet of five ships cruising year round from eight home
ports in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. With a contemporary look and
feel, P&O's ships carry more than 460,000 guests a year on great value
holidays. Itineraries range from short getaways and cruises exploring the
Australian coast to longer holidays to the South Pacific and exotic destinations
such as Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Asia. In June 2017
P&O Cruises will welcome its latest ship, Pacific Explorer, while in 2019
it will take delivery of its largest ever ship, a 3000-guest,
113,000-tonne vessel which will be the biggest ship ever to be based full time