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Boat bonanza: cruise ship trio floats into town

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sydney Harbour is playing host to three massive passenger liners this weekend, as the Diamond Princess, Sun Princess and impressive, newly refurbished Pacific Jewel have dropped anchor in the Emerald City for the weekend.

The combined capacity of the triumvirate? Upwards of 7,000 passengers can kick back whilst a crew of 2,500 cater to their every need.

Cruising is big business for Australia — the industry contributed $1.2 billion to the national economy last year. And according to Carnival Australia Chief Exec Ann Sherry that revenue figure could double in a decade, if the government were to improve port facilities.

The demand for cruises is certainly on the rise, and Sydney is expected to host 118 big passenger liners in 2010. The cruising industry's resilience throughout the economic downturn is a stand-out success story in the otherwise doom-and-gloom world of forward travel bookings.

The allure? Value for money without having to sacrifice luxury.

Take a look at the Pacific Jewel: tomorrow the Governor-General will crack the ole bottle of bubbles on the newly renovated vessel, before the Sydney-based ship sets sail on Sunday.

P&O's Pacific Jewel has a circus theme, and Cirque du Soleil-style performances by acrobats, trapeze artists and even a better-than-Britney stage act are all onboard.

With a Luke Mangan restaurant, as well as one of the most impressive floating day spas in the world, a few swimming pools and an adults-only haven, there's plenty of idyllic places to catch up on your R&R when you're ready to leave the circus behind.

For more information, check out P&O's website.

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