P&O Cruises has announced another three gourmet mini-cruises sailing from Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle in 2010 following the sell-out of its first food and wine cruise onboard superliner Pacific Dawn.
Two of the 2010 cruises will again showcase the food delights of the Hunter Valley region, with Australia’s newest superliner, Pacific Jewel, offering a weekend cruise from Sydney on January 29 and Pacific Dawn sailing from Brisbane on May 12.
Western Australians will also get the chance to take a gourmet mini-cruise break on Pacific Sun from Fremantle on December 17, 2010.
Fares for P&O Cruises’ 2010 gourmet mini-cruises start from $599 per person, twin share. The food and wine themed cruises combine the relaxed atmosphere of a leisurely three nights away with a range of unforgettable foodie experiences held onboard including wine, beer and cheese tasting, barista classes and jazz shows.
The first themed cruise explored the gourmet experiences available in the Hunter Valley region, with local winemakers Tyrrells Wines, Glandore Estate Wines and Grant Burge Winery holding highly sought-after tastings and Master Classes for passengers, which were booked out within hours of embarkation.
Tastings held by the Hunter Valley Cheese Tasting Room and Matilda Bay Brewing Company were also popular with passengers, while the eight barista classes held by P&O Cruises’ coffee ambassador were filled to capacity.
For many passengers, the highlight of the gastronomical cruise was a special seven-course degustation dinner prepared by the Hunter Valley’s only two-hat chef, Andrew Clarke, of
Pokolbin’s Rock Restaurant*.
The delectable morsels on offer included steamed crab with grilled lobster accompanied by shellfish bisque and salmon caviar, and duck breast stuffed with raisins, apples and hazelnuts on zucchini noodles with a liquorice sauce.
Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said the shorter cruises were a great way for travellers to dip their toes into cruising while also learning more about Australian food and wine.
“We were delighted with our passengers’ enthusiasm for our first food and wine cruise. It demonstrated that our food and wine initiatives such as introducing an all-Australian wine list and new a-la-carte restaurant menus are hitting the mark,” Ms Sherry said.
“Most of our passengers were couples and they all clearly enjoyed the experience of a weekend away enjoying the premium dining and wine of the Hunter Valley, without having to worry about driving – or doing the dishes.”
For more information about P&O Cruises call 13 24 94 or visit www.pocruises.com.au
* Winner – Best Regional Restaurant, 2009 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide
Anthony Fisk / Jane Humphries
+612 8424 8861