P&O Cruises today announced that it will become the first cruise line to visit Queensland’s beautiful Moreton Island, famous for its spectacular marine life and sand dunes, with the superliner Pacific Jewel scheduled to make history when she calls there in March next year.
Located on the so-called “Nemo’s Super Highway” or East Australian Current, the waters of Moreton Island are teeming with dolphins, whales, dugongs, mantarays and stingrays, while the island itself offers a range of adventure land-based activities, from sand tobogganing to quad bike tours.
P&O Cruises has scheduled six cruises to Moreton Island next year, each featuring a one-day call to the island as part of a four-night P&OSeaBreak from Sydney. Prices start from $429* per person quad share, with the maiden visit to occur on March 16.
Situated 60 kilometres north-east of Brisbane, Moreton Island is the world’s third largest sand island and is home to the Tangalooma Resort, which will partner with P&O Cruises to provide passengers with a raft of activities each time the ship visits, including a beach festival with live music and food tastings.
Experiences will range from dolphin feeding, to canoeing and snorkeling, while the resort will also offer myriad land-based options for visitors including tours to the spectacular Champagne Pools and Honeymoon Bay, sand-duning, quad bike tours and bird-watching.
Announcing the new port, Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia which operates P&O Cruises, said she was thrilled to be taking Australians to a new destination.
“Moreton Island is on our doorstep literally, but there are still so many Australians that have never been there. It’s a gorgeous island, packed with lots of exciting nature adventure activities so I think our passengers will love it,” Ms Sherry said.
Ms Sherry said the creation of a new destination at Moreton Island was “another feather in the cap” for Queensland which is Australia’s second biggest cruise state, after New South Wales. A recent Deloitte Access Economics report showed that cruising contributed $166.4 million to Queensland in 2010-11, with that number forecast to reach $340.8 million in 2019-20.
“Over the coming summer cruise season, Carnival Australia will have two ships based in Brisbane – P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn and Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess – plus a further 14 ships from across our fleets will be visiting the State from now to the end of April,” Ms Sherry said.
“In all, there’ll be 102 calls from our ships to ports stretching from Brisbane to Thursday Island, so the addition of Moreton Island to the Queensland cruise map is another win for the state’s economy.”