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Cruising Just Got Bigger

News release
December 2, 2003

Cruising Just Got Bigger

P&O Cruises has marked the arrival in New Zealand of the biggest cruise liner ever to sail here - Star Princess - by announcing that an even bigger megaliner will sail here in 12 months time.

She is the 113,000-ton Sapphire Princess, longer, wider, higher, more spacious and an incredible 4,000 tons heavier than the huge 109,000-ton Star Princess.

The Sapphire Princess will also be the most recently-launched liner ever to sail to New Zealand, arriving just six months after her commissioning in the United States next June.

While Star Princess sails the Caribbean next year, the Sapphire Princess will re-write the history books as the biggest passenger ship to visit New Zealand when she berths in late 2004.

It will be the first of four visits to the City of Sails as part of a series of cruises between Australia and New Zealand.

Part of the US-based Princess Cruises - a sister line to P&O Cruises - the 2,700-passenger Sapphire Princess will visit Auckland (first on December 17, 2004), Tauranga (first on December 18, 2004), Wellington (first on December 20, 2005), Dunedin (first on December 31, 2004), Christchurch (first on January 01, 2005) and the Bay of Islands (first on January 05, 2005).

Sapphire Princess has five pools, nine restaurants and cafes, eight jacuzzis, a mini golf course, wedding chapel, a huge spa sanctuary, two nightclubs, 13 bars and lounges including a unique wake-view bar at the rear of the ship. She also features 1,340 cabins including a record 750 with their own private balconies.

While the current season of Star Princess in the South Pacific is a sell-out, New Zealanders can now book their even bigger cruise experience aboard Sapphire Princess for summer '04 / '05. P&O Cruises offers 12-night cruises between Sydney and Auckland between December 2004 and March 2005 from NZ$2,599 plus taxes per person.

P&O Cruises New Zealand business development manager Shannon Currie advises New Zealanders to book their Sapphire Princess cruise early on the back of the popularity and exposure Star Princess had gained from her 2003 / 2004 South Pacific season.

"If New Zealand thought Star Princess was a spectacular sight this summer, wait till they see Sapphire Princess," says Mr Currie. "She is one of the biggest, newest and most innovative cruise ships in the world and her season here shows that New Zealand's cruise boom just keeps getting bigger."

Bookings and cruise brochures are available from travel agents or by calling the P&O Cruises freephone on 0800 441 766 or by visiting the company's website at .


Issued for P&O Cruises by Pead PR

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