Cairns a Signature Destination as P&O Cruises Australia Launches Spectacular 28-Night ‘Australian Explorer’ Itinerary in New Program

Thursday, October 7, 2021

P&O Cruises Australia is giving its loyal guests yet another exciting opportunity to experience some of Australia's best coastal destinations with Cairns a signature destination in an amazing 28-night ‘Australian Explorer’ circumnavigation around mainland Australia.

It is a first-of-its-kind sailing for P&O Cruises and a headline feature of its 2023/24 program building on a nearly 90-year history of cruising in Australia defining P&O’s proud reputation as the nation’s homegrown cruise line.

The announcement of the cruise line’s forward program coincides with the release of a special compilation of cruise-connected Cairns businesses that are looking forward to the resumption of cruising and its contribution to the local tourism economy.

The compilation also includes comments from local community leaders, Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch and Cairns Mayor Bob Manning.

Mr Entsch said: “Australia’s cruising industry will play a very important role in our tourism mix moving forward.”

Cr Manning said: “We very much look forward to the resumption of cruises into Cairns and the tourists that they deliver on our shores which are invaluable to the future prosperity of Cairns.”

P&O’s extensive and exciting 28-night circumnavigation around mainland Australia means it will be delivering opportunities to a wide range of suppliers and regional destinations including farmers, tour operators and entertainers.

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer will host the inaugural voyage departing either from Brisbane or Sydney in June 2024.

Guests will experience the attractions of 11 iconic Australian ports including state capitals and regional centres with Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Albany, Fremantle, Exmouth, Broome, Kuri Bay, Darwin, Cairns and Airlie Beach on the spectacular itinerary, along with a call at Ambon in Indonesia. The cruise also includes scenic cruising of Yampi Sound and Raft Point in the Kimberley region.

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said: "The 'Australian Explorer' cruise is a powerful reminder of P&O's proud history working with tour operators and a wide range of businesses to offer guests exceptional experiences onboard and at fantastic destinations."

The cruise is expected to contribute an estimated $20 million in economic activity including the combination of guest and crew spending, ship supplies and port-related costs.

Cairns businesses featured in the compile also being released today are representative of operators for whom cruise visitors are a significant part of their trade. The local operators are:

  • The Woodward family-owned and operated CaPTA Group with its range of visitor attractions and coach transport services.
  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway offering unparalleled views above the canopy of the World Heritage listed rainforest.
  • 'Bad Fishy Jet Boating' operated by couple Nikki Giumelli and Patrick McLoughlin offering visitors an adrenaline-charged jet boat experience.
  • Cairns Adventure Group headed by Roderic Rees with a range of rafting, rainforest discovery and other experiences.
  • Hummers and Harleys’ with Tina and Rory Murphy offering visitors a chance to explore the region in luxuriously appointed stretched Hummers.

All the local suppliers have in common a desire to see cruise tourism return to assist in the local resurgence of the visitor economy, which has been hard hit in the pandemic.

The ‘Australian Explorer’ cruise is among the 23 Australian-focused cruises featured in P&O’s new 2023/24 program.

Together, the domestic itineraries will help support scores of local businesses offering a dazzling range of shore tours that encompass cultural experiences, the best of food and wine, family-friendly pursuits and many other activities to capture the imagination of guests.

P&O Cruises Australia’s new ‘Australian Explorer’ cruise and 2023/24 program will go on sale on Wednesday 13, October.