Asia Cruise Yearbook : Cruise Passenger 57
14 www.cruisepassenger.com.au www.cruisepassenger.com.au 15 CRUISE AND RAIL The Ghan crossing the Ferguson River in the Northern Territory Words Brad Crouch FromtheGreatBarrierReeftotheRedCentreand beyond, Australia is so vast it is hard to get more than a taste on just one holiday. This is where a sail/rail trip comes into its own - a seamless way to see Australia inside and out by combining a luxury cruise with one of the world’s great train journeys. A cruise trip from Brisbane aboard Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess, calling at Airlie Beach then Yorkeys Knob in Queensland, followed by an exotic call at Alotau in Papua New Guinea prior to Darwin, is a dreamy mix of sun, fun, culture and entertainment. The cruise provides the exhilarating opportunity to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, walk in the Daintree rainforest, pay homage to the World War II heroes of the Battle of Milne Bay, then use Darwin as a springboard for more exploring. The 1,998-guest Sea Princess with 910 crew aims for relaxed enjoyment rather than adrenalin, as the Princess line’s “Escape Completely” tag line indicates. A cruise and rail holiday makes perfect sense in an island nation as vast and diverse as Australia. A modern take on THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN TREK Brisbane Alice Springs Adelaide Darwin CRUISE NEWS: P&O Words Nahrain John It’s got a new slogan and a new upmarket image. Now P&O Cruises, the line that has been the country’s most faithful, running ships year round and producing prices that allowed first-timers to trial cruising without financial pain, is determined not to be left behind as more Australians than ever are going on cruise holidays. It is introducing two new year-round vessels, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden. A competition to name the ships attracted 30,000 entrants. The sister ships will join P&O Cruises in November 2015, increasing the line’s fleet from three to five. If they look familiar, that ’s because they are currently sailing under the Holland America Line brand as Ryndam and Statendam. Before arriving here, the ships will be refurbished to tailor them for the local market. P&O chief executive Ann Sherry said the specialty restaurant, Salt grill by Luke Mangan, will be added to both vessels, and they will be designed with an upmarket feel to attract “contemporary cruisers”. The two ships will also offer new itineraries. With five ships, P&O Cruises says it will be able to expand its presence in Australia by basing more vessels at ports other than Sydney and Brisbane and including new, smaller ports in intineraries. From September to November 2016, the line will have its first ship sailing from Cairns. Pacific Eden will sail four seven-night cruises to Papua New Guinea and a 10-night itinerary to PNG and the Solomon Islands. Eden will also make inaugural calls at Jakarta, Probolinggo and Makassar in Indonesia during round trips from Fremantle. Pacific Aria will join Pacific Dawn in Queensland’s capital for eight months during the 2015/16 season. She will sail on new cruises, including an 18-night P&O Explorer itinerary visiting Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. There will also be a seven-night New Year cruise visiting Hamilton Island, Cairns and Willis Island. Next year will mark P&O Cruises’ first summer in Melbourne, when Pacific Jewel will be based in the city from December 2015 to March 2016. She will sail on a 12-night Christmas Melanesian cruise and a New Year cruise that goes to the south coast of Australia and Tasmania. Pacific Pearl will continue to sail from Sydney and will have a longer Auckland season between February and June 2016 for a series of four- to- 15-night cruises around New Zealand and Fiji. She will also make her first call to Stewart Island during a 10-night round trip circumnavigating New Zealand. Then and now: The imagery for the new P&O Cruises advertising campaign (below), and a campaign targeting returning colonialists (inset) Thoroughly modern makeover REBRANDING ‘The ships will be designed to attract “contemporary cruisers”.’ Australia’s favourite line is moving up a gear to tackle the sophisticated, younger cruiser.
ASEAN Yearbook 2015