In another spectacular development in its suite of cruise itineraries, P&O Cruises today announced that it will next year make two calls to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island located off the southern Queensland coast.
Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden -- the two latest additions to the P&O Cruises fleet -- will call at Fraser Island on April 3 and December 12 respectively, the first of a number of calls to the Island which boasts some of the world's most magnificent scenery, wildlife and visitor experiences.
The calls to Fraser Island, one of 15 regional destinations in Australia pioneered by P&O Cruises in recent years, are an exciting part of the line’s soon to be released cruise program for its five-ship fleet (with the arrival in November of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden).
The first two Fraser Island cruises will be on the 1500-guest Pacific Aria on a roundtrip itinerary from Brisbane in April and on the 1500-guest Pacific Eden on a roundtrip cruise from Sydney in December.
Both cruises are being conducted in conjunction with the world renowned Kingfisher Bay Resort which offers a range of eco-friendly four wheel drive tours of the island along its beaches and 1500km of tracks.
“Fraser Island's Indigenous inhabitants gave their island home a name that means paradise and our cruise passengers will have the opportunity to discover this for themselves,” said Ann Sherry CEO of Carnival Australia which operates P&O Cruises, one of seven cruise lines in the company's house of brands.
“Visiting Fraser Island by cruise ship with its 184,000 hectares of diversity from pristine beaches, lake and sand cliffs to rainforests will be a unique experience for our cruise travellers. We are delighted to be working with the Queensland Government, Queensland National Parks, Kingfisher Bay Resort and the Fraser Coast Region to make sustainable cruise tourism part of Fraser Island's visitor experience.”
Queensland Minister for Tourism Kate Jones welcomed the announcement and said it was great to see P&O Cruises expand its offering to include Fraser Island, off the back of recent announcements of Mooloolaba, Hamilton Island and Gladstone.
“We’ll now see more visitors enjoying Fraser Island’s natural beauty, which is great news for local tourism operators. We hope that the incredible experiences visitors will have on Fraser Island make them want to return to Queensland again,” Ms Jones said.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Group General Manager David Hay said the partnership with P&O Cruises would deliver increased tourism opportunities across the Fraser Coast.
“The domestic cruise market has grown significantly in recent years and we welcome this exciting opportunity to attract more visitors to Fraser Island and the region,” Mr Hay said.
“The Fraser Coast has some incredible products and experiences to offer our domestic and international visitors and it is pleasing to see this potential being recognised by major companies like P&O Cruises,” Mr Hay said.