Coral Princess Sails into Melbourne, Australia

Sporting a giant ‘We love Melbourne’ banner on its bow, the Coral Princess became the first cruise ship to sail into Melbourne in more than two years, according to a press release.

The Coral Princess is the vanguard for multiple Carnival Australia cruise lines basing ships in Melbourne for defined cruise seasons or having ships call during the remainder of this year and in 2023.

These include Cunard’s iconic Queen Elizabeth which will be home-porting in Melbourne from mid-November.

Ships from P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Cruise Line will again play a major role in bringing thousands of interstate visitors to Melbourne’s major events including the Melbourne Cup and the Australian Open Tennis, the company said, in a statement. 

Three ships — P&O’s Pacific Adventure (sailing from Sydney) and Pacific Encounter (sailing from Brisbane), and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor (sailing from Sydney) — will bring more than 7,000 visitors to the Melbourne Cup. P&O’s Pacific Adventure will also bring guests to the Australian Open Tennis in January.

Beginning in November, three brands — P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and Cunard — will homeport ships in Melbourne for cruise seasons.

Thirteen ships will be visiting or home porting in Melbourne during the current summer cruise season. Between them, they’ll make 70 calls — including nine overnight stays — and 11 calls to Phillip Island.

“It is great to see cruising return to Melbourne after such a long absence with the city ready to participate in the growth of cruise tourism and the rebuilding of Australia’s $5 billion a year cruise industry,” said Marguerite Fitzgerald, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia.

“Melbourne is a natural starting off point for cruises to destinations in South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.”

Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos, said “Today marks an important milestone for the state’s tourism and recovery efforts. It’s fantastic to see cruise ships back on our shores with passengers from all over the globe.”

“Australia remains high on the list for many US travellers and new connections direct to Victoria mean that millions of visitors will start their trip down under right here – boosting tourism and supporting local jobs and businesses,” Minister Dimopoulos said.

Stuart Allison, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific for Princess Cruises said it was exciting for Coral Princess to be the first ship to return to Melbourne following the cruise industry’s restart as well as being the first ‘smart ship’ MedallionClass vessel to visit the city.

“Princess Cruises is committed to the Australian cruise market for the long term and we value our loyal guests for whom cruising from Melbourne is their holiday choice and they will have opportunities for this during Grand Princess’s dedicated Melbourne cruise season,”  Allison said.

Reflecting on the strong association of Carnival Australia with Australia’s events capital, Victoria Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich commented on the importance of cruising to major events in Melbourne.

“We have had a strong relationship with P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Cruise Line for over 50 years and are delighted to continue this partnership,” Rosich said.

“Cruising drives important interstate visitation to the Melbourne Cup Carnival and this year we can expect more than 7000 cruise passengers at Flemington over the four days of Cup Week to experience the fun, fashion, food, entertainment and world-class racing that the Melbourne Cup Carnival has to offer.”

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