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Goddess of the Dawn sails into Auckland tomorrow

Friday 10 February, 2006

Goddess of the Dawn sails into Auckland tomorrow

Carrying almost 2,000 lovers of the sea, P&O's luxurious British superliner, Aurora, arrives in Auckland tomorrow (Saturday 11 February) as part of a grand journey that will see her sail around the world in 80 days.

Named after the Roman goddess of the dawn and boasting enough private balconies for 406 seafaring Juliets to be wooed by their Romeos, Aurora is scheduled to dock at Princes Wharf at 7am and will sail for Sydney at 8pm.

Sporting a netted cricket pitch and enough teacups for the London Ritz to serve tea for a month without needing to wash up, Aurora is midway through an 80-day complete circumnavigation of the world taking passengers to 27 ports in 20 countries on every continent bar Antarctica.

Destinations include the Caribbean, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Egypt and Italy as well as transits of the Panama and Suez canals.

Passengers paid between NZ$22,582 and NZ$97,602 each for the entire voyage, including all meals and entertainment.

Aurora also offers a butler for guests in the top suites, including two-storey penthouses with their own grand piano and spiral staircase. Shorter sectors were also available from around NZ$262 per person a day.

Today's visit will provide more than a $1 million boost to the Auckland economy thanks to spending ashore by passengers and crew as well as the cost of local port services and stores.

Launched in 2000 at a cost of NZ$825 million dollars, Aurora generates enough power to supply electricity to Palmerston North and is 10 metres taller than Niagara Falls, placing her on an expanding list of 21st Century superliners too big to fit under the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Aurora also boasts a four-storey waterfall in the atrium, three pools, 3,600 pieces of artwork, gym, a West-End style theatre, five restaurants and cafés, 12 bars, five lounges and four dance floors.

Cabins are now available for the 2007 world cruises aboard Aurora, with fares available from NZ$13,844 per person for a 45-night sector from Southampton to Auckland. Shorter sectors from Auckland will also be available from March 2006.

P&O Cruises New Zealand Manager Shannon Currie says Aurora's visit was part of the worldwide boom in cruising that will see a record 11.7 million people around the world take a holiday at sea this year.

"Beautiful ships like Aurora provide a romantic, hassle-free and value-for-money way to see the world. More and more people are seeing cruising as an ideal way to travel," says Mr Currie.

For more information, see a travel agent, call P&O Cruises on 0800 95 12 00 or visit www.pocruises.co.nz .

ENDS

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