|P&O Sails into History with the first of 17 Maiden Calls in 2016|
P&O Cruises is maintaining its reputation as a cruise pioneer in local waters, making its maiden call to the remote town of Wewak in Papua New Guinea today – the first of 17 inaugural calls to an array of new ports this year following the expansion of the cruise line’s fleet.
Guests on Pacific Aria were part of history when they stepped ashore in Wewak, with the cruise ship becoming the first to ever call at the colourful capital of the East Sepik province, located on the famous Sepik River.
The maiden calls continue P&O’s longstanding journey of discovery in Australia and the Pacific, which has seen the cruise line drive the growth of the local cruise industry by adding an array of exciting and exotic destinations to the cruise map. In recent years, close to a dozen new Australian ports have been introduced to P&O’s itineraries, delivering substantial benefits to regional communities around the country.
Next month, P&O will be charting a new course in New Zealand with Pacific Pearl making the cruise line’s first call to the remote Stewart Island at the bottom of the South Island on March 6.
Then within days, P&O will be making waves in Queensland when Pacific Dawn becomes the first cruise ship to visit the port of Gladstone on March 10, opening up an exciting new base for Southern Barrier Reef adventures.
The visit will be followed by more excitement on April 3, when Pacific Aria becomes the first P&O ship to visit to the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island located off the southern Queensland coast.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the continued expansion of P&O’s fleet had opened up new horizons for the cruise line.
“We have been pioneering cruising in the Pacific for more than 80 years and we are still discovering fantastic cruise destinations for our guests,” Mr Myrmell said.
“The addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden to our fleet late last year and our continued expansion with Pacific Explorer in 2017 and our newbuild in 2019, has made it possible to extend our itinerary offering like never before and build a wide range of new destinations into our schedules.
“In some cases these are not just maiden visits for P&O, they are the first visits by any cruise line, so it’s a very exciting time for us and a great honour to be welcomed so enthusiastically by local communities.”
In June, Pacific Jewel will be the first cruise ship to call at one of the most remote island groups in the world – the privately-owned Conflict Islands in Papua New Guinea.
Meanwhile Pacific Eden will make a string of maiden calls across Asia and the Pacific between May and October as part of its inaugural Singapore and Cairns seasons.
With its boutique size making it ideal to cruise to smaller islands, Pacific Eden will become the first cruise ship to ever visit Ko Chang in Thailand and Gizo Island in the Solomon Islands.
Other maiden calls for P&O on Pacific Eden’s itineraries include Sabang, Ujung Pandang, Jakarta and the fascinating volcano port of Probolinggo in Indonesia; Langkawi in Malaysia; Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui in Thailand; Cambodia’s Sihanoukville and Honiara in the Solomon Islands.
For more information call 13 24 94, visit pocruises.com.au, or see a licensed travel agent.
Notes to editors: The region’s largest and longest-serving cruise operator, P&O Cruises Australia leads the way in cruising as Australasia's only 'home brand' and its favourite cruise line. P&O Cruises has been sailing the region for more than 80 years, and has pioneered new destinations around Australia, the Pacific and Asia including Papua New Guinea, as reported in the New York Times’ 52 top destinations for 2015. P&O Cruises is the nation’s largest cruise line with five ships cruising from eight home ports in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November 2015 has paved the way for exciting new cruise options including deployments from every mainland state in Australia and an extended deployment from Auckland. The pair herald a new era for P&O Cruises, as reflected in its brand repositioning - P&O Cruises, Like no Place on Earth.
P&O Australia’s Maiden Calls – 2016
1. Monday February 22 – Pacific Aria – Wewak, PNG*
2. Sunday March 6 – Pacific Pearl – Stewart Island, New Zealand
3. Thursday March 10 – Pacific Dawn – Gladstone, Queensland*
4. Sunday April 3 – Pacific Aria – Fraser Island, Queensland
5. Saturday May 7 – Pacific Eden – Ujung Pandang, Indonesia
6. Monday May 9 – Pacific Eden – Probolinggo, Indonesia
7. Tuesday June 21 – Pacific Jewel – Conflict Islands, PNG*
8. Thursday July 28 – Pacific Eden – Jakarta, Indonesia
9. Monday August 1 – Pacific Eden – Langkawi, Malaysia
10. Tuesday August 2 – Pacific Eden – Krabi, Thailand
11. Wednesday August 3 – Pacific Eden – Phuket, Thailand
12. Thursday August 4 – Pacific Eden – Sabang, Indonesia
13. Monday August 8 – Pacific Eden – Sihanoukville, Cambodia
14. Tuesday August 9 – Pacific Eden – Ko Chang, Thailand*
15. Thursday August 11 – Pacific Eden – Koh Samui, Thailand
16. Friday September 30 – Pacific Eden – Gizo Island, Solomon Islands*
17. Saturday October 1 – Pacific Eden – Honiara, Solomon Islands
*first ever ocean cruise ship call to destination