Wednesday 13 October 2010

Debut of Princess' new Kiwi themed cruises

Princess Launches Record New Zealand Season with New Kiwi Program

Princess Cruises has launched its biggest ever season of New Zealand cruises from Australia, with its round trip voyages across the Tasman now featuring a new Kiwi flavour.

From hokey pokey ice cream and lolly log cakes through to Maori performers, nature talks and award-winning local movies, passengers will enjoy the true essence of New Zealand as they explore its spectacular coastline thanks to the cruise line's new onboard cultural program.

The program was officially launched onboard Sun Princess in Sydney today as the ship prepared to embark on Princess' first New Zealand voyage for the cruise season.

Over the next five months, the cruise line will offer a record 22 cruises to New Zealand, including 18 from Sydney and Melbourne on the locally based Sun Princess and Dawn Princess and four trans-Tasman cruises between Sydney and Auckland on the massive 116,000-tonne Diamond Princess.

This compares to 19 New Zealand cruises over the same period last year.

Princess Cruises President and CEO Alan Buckelew said more than one million Australians visited New Zealand each year, enjoying its rich culture and a scenic landscape vastly different to Australia.

"While many Australians fly to New Zealand for a break, an increasing number are arriving by ship. In fact, next year Princess Cruises alone will carry more than 40,000 tourists to New Zealand's North and South Islands so we are making a significant contribution to the nation's inbound tourist numbers," Mr Buckelew said.

Mr Buckelew said the new onboard program would operate on both Sun Princess and Dawn Princess. It includes a wide range of New Zealand cuisine options, from bacon and egg pie in the morning through to mussel soup at lunch and a Princess Hangi Dinner featuring lamb chops, chicken thighs, smoked pork, cabbage and kumara.  Meanwhile the ship's drinks list will feature a range of Kiwi favourites such as Steinlager beer and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc along with Kiwi martinis and daiquiris.

Throughout their cruises, passengers will also enjoy lectures from destination experts as well as commentary from a park ranger as the ships cruise the spectacular Fiordland National Park.  In select ports, Maori cultural groups will present workshops on their culture and heritage while in other destinations passengers will enjoy cultural shows.

On their days at sea, holidaymakers can watch award-winning movies, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Piano. There will also be special events such as a themed New Zealand Island Night, featuring local food and a chef versus bartender challenge based around Kiwi cocktails and cuisine.

Fares on Princess New Zealand cruises start from $1999* per person twin share for departures on January 12, 2011 from Sydney and January 16, 2011 from Melbourne. The 13-night round trip voyage visits seven beautiful ports including Dunedin, Wellington, Napier and the Bay of Islands and also takes passengers through Fiordland.  For more information visit call 13 2488 or see a licensed travel agent. *Subject to availability, conditions apply.

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