Press Release – P O Cruises
Passengers onboard P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises ships will celebrate Christmas on New Zealand waters in the coming week, amid spectacular holiday decor and festivities.P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises bring Christmas snowfall to New Zealand
Passengers onboard P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises ships will celebrate Christmas on New Zealand waters in the coming week, amid spectacular holiday decor and festivities.
In the week leading up to Christmas Day, six different Carnival Australia ships will make 27 calls at New Zealand ports, carrying 54,500 passengers onboard.
Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess arrived in Auckland today, on its one-way tour of New Zealand, stopping at Tauranga, Wellington and Akaroa before spending Christmas Day in Port Chalmers.
The 2016 passengers onboard Sea Princess are set to enjoy a visit from Santa at sea, as well as snowfall in her multi-storey atrium, compliments of an onboard snow machine.
With the ship decked out in holiday décor – including a Christmas tree on the mast – passengers will also be treated to a special Christmas dinner, gingerbread house-making, Christmas carols and festive movies on the ship’s giant Movies Under the Stars screen.
Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry said the spectacular displays and festive atmosphere onboard make the holiday season a popular time to cruise.
“Christmas cruising takes all the hassle out of all the preparations, with everything arranged for you,” Ms Sherry said. We also like to add a touch of Christmas magic giving passengers the opportunity to experience a winter snowfall, even on a sub-tropical holiday.”
Among the ships calling in New Zealand this week is the largest to visit so far this summer, the Diamond Princess, which glides into Fiordland National Park on Friday December 23, carrying 3800 passengers and crew on board the 116,000-tonne ship.
The spectacular megaliner will cruise between Australia and New Zealand until February with each of her New Zealand port visits expected to inject around $500,000 into the local economy through passenger and crew spending, stores and port fees.
The Diamond Princess and Sea Princess will each spend Christmas Day in Akaroa and Port Chalmers respectively, and the Sea Princess will be joined in port also by another one of Carnival Australia’s ships, the Volendam, a Holland America liner carrying 1440 passengers.
Meanwhile P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn set sail from Brisbane today packed with some extra special Christmas cargo for children in the Pacific Islands.
In keeping with a commitment to support communities in the Pacific Islands, the superliner will carry 39 cartons of books for the Friends of Pango Ministry, a non-denominational Christian organisation, which will be used to establish three ‘micro-libraries’ at schools in Vanuatu’s outer islands.
“P&O Cruises has been sailing to the Pacific Islands for nearly 80 years and we are delighted to be in a position to do something special for the Vanuatu community at Christmas time,” Ms Sherry said.
The busy Christmas week alone will generate an estimated $13.5million during the busiest ever summer cruising season for New Zealand.
The 115,365 passengers on-board Carnival Australia ships who will visit our shores are expected to add more than $200 million to the country’s post-Rugby World Cup tourism economy, making a total of 394 calls – a 56 per cent increase on last season.