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Super liner Oriana berths in Auckland

Super liner Oriana berths in Auckland

Hundreds of lucky New Zealanders and Australians will be on board one of the world's great superliners, P&O Cruises' Oriana, when it arrives in Auckland on Monday March 3, 2003.

Together they help drink more than 22,000 bottles of champagne and wine and eat 88 tonnes of meat, 306,000 eggs and 29,000 litres of ice cream.

That's how much the 1800 passengers on the P&O Cruises liner will consume during the 69,153-ton ship's 92-day round-the-world voyage.

Oriana's Auckland visit comes midway through her annual round-world cruise, with the 10-storey floating resort berthing at about 7am. She will set sail for San Francisco via Honolulu at 8pm on Monday.

Christened in 1995 and based in the UK, P&O's Oriana is rated as one of the world's top ocean liners. Passengers can enjoy three swimming pools - including the largest at sea - as well as five jacuzzis, a cricketers pub, six lounges, 11 bars, a four-storey atrium, a computer cyb@study, West End style theatre complete with a revolving stage, a casino, two restaurants, bistro, pizzeria, nightclub, gymnasium, jogging track, library and beauty salon.

Oriana also features 3000 works of art - more than London's National Gallery - and an indoor four-storey waterfall.

The ship carries a name familiar to many New Zealanders who remember P&O's last Oriana, which served as a popular liner for immigrants and cruise passengers between 1960 and 1986.

P&O Cruises New Zealand Sales and Marketing Manager Todd Bolton said many passengers regarded a world cruise as a holiday of a lifetime.

"Most people dream about taking a luxury world voyage one day and it can be very affordable particularly once you consider the value for money provided by having up to 15 courses of fine food a day included in the fare," Mr Bolton said.

He said Oriana's visit to New Zealand would be followed by multiple visits from various P&O Cruises ships between now and February 2004. These include the biggest cruise ship ever to visit New Zealand - P&O Cruises' giant 109,000 ton Star Princess.

"The number of visits and the increase in the size of our ships underscores New Zealand's popularity as a cruise destination and also the popularity of cruising worldwide, with more than 12 million people, including 12,000 New Zealander's now cruising each year - a 44 per cent increase over the past five years.

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