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Auckland set to glitter with giant gem

News release
Wednesday 18 January 2006

Auckland set to glitter with giant gem

One of the biggest cruise ships to visit New Zealand, the luxury superliner Diamond Princess, sails into Auckland on Friday (20 January), on the first of five visits during her four-month Australasian cruise season.

Diamond Princess is scheduled to dock at Prince’s Wharf at 6am and sets sail for Tauranga at 6pm.

The twin sister of Sapphire Princess which visited Auckland last summer, the 116,000-tonne Diamond Princess carries 2,700 passengers and 1,100 crew. The sister megaliners co-hold the title of the biggest cruise ships to visit New Zealand.

Diamond Princess arrives in Auckland from Tauranga on the first cruise of a sell-out season of eight 12-night voyages between Sydney and Auckland. Diamond Princess returns to Auckland on February 13, March 9, April 2 and April 22 before heading to the United States via the South Pacific.

More than 2½ times bigger than the Titanic, Diamond Princess stretches 290 metres long and is almost 49 metres wide, including her bridge wing. With a height of 63 metres, Diamond Princess is 20m too tall to make the clearance required to pass under the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The ship’s visit to Auckland will inject more than $500,000 into the local economy through passenger and crew spending, stores and port fees.

Sporting a space-age bridge and jet-engine-style pods on her funnel, Diamond Princess is propelled by a revolutionary dual diesel and gas system that makes her one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly liners.

The ship has five pools, 10 restaurants and cafes, eight Jacuzzis, a wedding chapel with a live webcam, a mini golf course, 13 bars and lounges, the biggest internet centre at sea, two nightclubs including one overhanging the ship, a luxury spa sanctuary and 1,337 cabins – 750 of them with their own private balcony.

Princess Cruises has used Diamond Princess’ first season in New Zealand to unveil the return of Sapphire Princess next summer, providing 10 cruises in local waters between January and April 2007.

“Big ship cruising is obviously popular here amongst New Zealanders and Americans,” Princess Cruises New Zealand Manager Shannon Currie says. “Megaliners such as Diamond and Sapphire Princess provide passengers with a big choice in dining, entertainment and activities, more balcony cabins, great value-for-money and a real sense of excitement.”

Fly/cruise fares on Sapphire Princess’ 2006-07 programme are available from NZ$3,046 * per person twin share for one of eight 12-night cruises between Auckland and Sydney, including the one-way flight between both cities.

*All fares include all onboard meals and entertainment and are subject to availability. Conditions apply.

Bookings are available via travel agents, Princess Cruises on 0800 95 12 00 or visit


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