Rush to circle Australia by sea
Thursday, 9 June 2005
Rush to circle Australia by sea
An historic circumnavigation of Australia by a superliner 230 times bigger than the sailing ship that first circled the continent has almost sold out 17 months in advance and just days after going on sale.
Australasia’s premium cruise line, Princess Cruises, reports almost all 1,950 berths on the 77,000-ton Dawn Princess are sold out for her 28-night ‘Grand Voyage Around Australia’ departing Sydney on November 7, 2006.
The special cruise officially went on sale on May 25, 2005, but a huge number of prior registrations of interest and a rush of bookings mean the voyage is almost sold out with only a handful of cabins left. The consumer demand replicates the rapid sell-out last year of a chartered Cruiseco round-Australia voyage this October by Dawn Princess’ smaller sister, the 30,200-ton Pacific Princess.
Visiting US megaliner and big sister to Dawn Princess, the 113,000-ton Diamond Princess, is also close to selling out space this summer on cruises between Auckland and Sydney between January and April, 2006.
The bookings flurry has prompted Carnival New Zealand, which represents Princess Cruises, to bring forward the release date for cabins on the full 2006-2007 Australasian summer programme for Dawn Princess.
Dawn Princess’ round-Australia cruise is the ship’s second from Sydney during her maiden Australiasian summer season running from October 2006 to March 2007. Tailored for the Australasian market and offering an onboard currency of Australian dollars, Dawn Princess replaces Pacific Princess, which pioneered premium cruising for Australians and New Zealanders in 2002.
Carnival New Zealand says the strong demand for the round-Australia itineraries could lead to more circumnavigations in the future.
“There is obviously a pent-up demand for these exciting journeys which inspire people’s imagination and sense of adventure, and we will certainly look at offering more of these types of cruises in the future,” says Carnival New Zealand manager Shannon Currie.
The biggest and most luxurious liner to be based in Australasia, Dawn Princess is the largest ship to ever cirumnavigate Australia. The grand voyage visits Brisbane, the Whitsundays, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Perth, Bunbury, Albany, Adelaide, Hobart, Burnie and Melbourne.
Launched in 1997, Dawn Princess features a four-storey atrium, eight restaurants and cafes, ‘anytime dining’, four pools, five jacuzzis, seven lounges and bars, a glass-walled gym, golf simulator, spa, wrap-around promenade deck, nightclub, two children’s clubs, a library and 975 cabins, including 410 with balconies.
The first circumnavigation of the continent of Australia was mastered by explorer Matthew Flinders who took two years to achieve the feat in his 334-ton sloop, The Investigator, from 1801 to 1803.
The full programme for Dawn Princess’ maiden 2006-07 season in Australasia will be released in September, 2005. Remaining cabins on Dawn Princess’ round-Australia cruise are priced from NZ$7,907 per person, while fares on Diamond Princess’ 12-night cruises between New Zealand and Australia are available from NZ$2,798 per person. For information on Princess Cruises, call Carnival New Zealand on 0800 95 12 00 or visit www.princess.com.au.