One of the largest cruise ships to visit Australia, Diamond Princess, will sail into Sydney on Sunday (Jan 8, 2006), marking the start of a four-month cruise season that confirms Sydney’s continued popularity as a world cruise destination.
Diamond Princess is scheduled to dock at Circular Quay at 5am and will set sail for Melbourne that evening at 9pm.
The twin sister of Sapphire Princess, which visited Sydney last summer, the 116,000-ton Diamond Princess carries 2700 passengers and 1100 crew. The sister megaliners hold the title of the largest cruise ships to visit Australia.
Diamond Princess’ arrival represents the start of a sell-out extended four-month season of 12-night cruises between Sydney and Auckland. Diamond Princess will visit Sydney again on February 1 and 25, March 21 and April 14, before returning to the United States via New Zealand and the South Pacific.
The 116,000-ton Diamond Princess is more than 2½ times bigger than the Titanic, stretches 290 metres long and almost 49 metres wide, including her bridge wing. With a height of 63 metres, Diamond Princess is too tall to sail under the Harbour Bridge and is just four metres shorter than the tallest sail on the Sydney Opera House.
The ship’s visit to Sydney will inject more than $1 million 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 has a revolutionary dual diesel and gas propulsion system that makes her one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly liners.
The ship also boasts 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 center at sea, two nightclubs including one overhanging the ship, a luxury spa sanctuary and 1337 cabins – 750 of them with their own private balcony.
Princess Cruises has used Diamond Princess’ first season in Australia to unveil the return of Sapphire Princess next summer, offering 10 cruises in local waters between December 2006 and April 2007.
“Diamond Princess’ arrival confirms the reputation of Sydney as an international cruise destination as well as the growing poularity of big ship cruising amongst both Australians and Americans,” Princess Cruises Australia Managing Director Gavin Smith said. “Megaliners like Diamond and Sapphire Princess offer passengers 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 program are available from $2769* per person twin share for one of eight 12-night cruises between Sydney and Auckland, 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, P&O Cruises Australia on 132 469.