Fremantle’s emergence as a cruising hub has been confirmed with P&O Cruises today announcing it will homeport one of its latest ships, Pacific Eden, in Western Australia for a record three months.
Offering 13 cruises, Pacific Eden’s deployment from April to July 2016 represents P&O Cruises’ longest ever cruise season in the west and will deliver more than $15 million in economic benefit to the state.
The 1500-passenger Pacific Eden is one of two ships joining P&O Cruises’ existing three-ship fleet next year. The major fleet expansion opens the way for a greater variety of cruise options from Fremantle, including extended 12-night cruises to South East Asia and coastal cruises which will provide a boost to Western Australia’s regional ports.
In all, Fremantle will benefit from 12 turnaround calls while the regional ports of Broome, Esperance, Busselton, Geraldton and Exmouth will receive a total of 14 visits by Pacific Eden.
P&O Cruises CEO Ann Sherry said she expected the cruise line’s offerings to be particularly popular with family groups and younger couples.
“We have always viewed Fremantle as a significant cruising hub and our fleet expansion has become the catalyst for this to happen,” Ms Sherry said.
“Western Australia is an important source market for Australian cruise passengers and our new program makes more cruise choices available at their doorstep and also opens up more opportunities for the growing fly-cruise passenger market.”
The extended Fremantle season is a major highlight of P&O Cruises’ 2015-16 program, which features 250 cruises from eight different homeports across the cruise line’s five-ship fleet.
Pacific Eden’s cruises from Fremantle will include:
- Three roundtrip 12-night Indonesian cruises including visits to Bali, Lombok, Komodo Island, Makassar and Probolinggo, home to the Mount Bromo volcano
- An 18-night Indonesian itinerary including calls to the new ports of Jakarta, Probolinggo and Ujung Pandang (Makassar)
- A 12-night cruise from Fremantle to Singapore with port stops at Komodo Island, Makassar (Ujung Pandang), Lombok, Bali, Probolinggo, and Jakarta
- Two 8-night Coral Coast itineraries visiting Geraldton, Broome and Exmouth
- A 9-night itinerary visiting Geraldton, Busselton (Margaret River), Exmouth and Broome
- Four 3-night P&OSeaBreak cruises including three Food and Wine cruises and one cruise visiting Busselton for Margaret River
- A 4-night P&OSeaBreak featuring a call to Esperance.
Fares start from $599 per person quad share for a three night P&OSeaBreak cruise and $1399 per person quad share for a 12-night Indonesian Adventure cruise.
WA Minister for Tourism Liza Harvey said: “The resurgence in cruising means there are even more opportunities for people to visit the beautiful ports of our State and explore everything from whale sharks to wineries on shore trips.”
“Cruising is an important arm of WA’s tourism industry, contributing $118 million from 60 cruise ship visits in 2012/13 and it’s great to see businesses in the various ports catering to passengers to make their experience extraordinary.”
Ms Sherry said it was wonderful to see Fremantle was increasingly achieving its potential as the starting point for a greater variety of cruise options and voyages to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations in Asia and in Western Australia itself.
“P&O Cruises’ expansion to a five-ship fleet with the largest number of cruise ships homeported year round in Australia will help the industry achieve its goal of a million passengers in 2015, five years earlier than forecast,” Ms Sherry said.