In a classic case of Eden meets Eden, P&O Cruises today announced that one of its two latest ships – the1500-passenger Pacific Eden – will make a series of visits to the NSW Sapphire Coast port during its inaugural season.
Eden will also host a visit from P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn in November next year as part of the cruise line’s plan to have all five ships in its expanded fleet in Sydney Harbour on the same day following a spectacular sail-in.
In all, Eden will receive five visits from P&O Cruises’ ships between February 2015 and February 2016, producing an estimated economic value of more than $1 million to the local community.
In addition to the many attractions of the Sapphire Coast, Eden has the only deep water harbour between Sydney and Melbourne making it an ideal cruise destination for increasingly popular short break cruises.
“The Eden community has been a strong supporter of cruising and we are delighted that it is now seeing realised its potential to contribute to tourism growth in such a beautiful and dynamic area,” P&O Cruises CEO Ann Sherry said.
“Federal and state government support for the upgrade of the Eden wharf to enable cruise ships to come alongside is also a welcome step which will further enhance the port’s attractions as a cruise destination,” Ms Sherry said.
The Eden visits are part of P&O Cruises’ exciting new 2015-16 cruise program which features 250 cruises from eight different homeports across the cruise line’s five-ship fleet.
Pacific Eden will make her maiden visit to Eden on January 10, 2016 as part of an eight-day cruise from Sydney and will return again on February 2, 2016. Meanwhile Pacific Dawn’s visit to Eden will come in November 2015, as part of a seven-night cruise from Brisbane also visiting Newcastle, Sydney and Moreton Island.
NSW Treasurer and Member for Bega Andrew Constance said the visits would provide a significant boost to the local economy and strengthen Eden’s proud maritime tradition.
“The Australian cruise industry is growing at around 20 per cent each year, and we’re determined to see Eden capture its share of this thriving business,” Mr Constance said.
“That’s why the NSW Government has made significant investments to support more cruise ship visits to Eden, contributing $10 million for the port upgrade and $3 million for the extension of the Breakwater Wharf.
“The visits of Pacific Dawn and Pacific Eden are great news for the local economy and the passengers who will get to see one of the most beautiful parts of NSW.
Bega Shire Council Mayor Bill Taylor said he was delighted that P&O Cruises had made the commitment to include Eden as a regular cruise destination.
“Council, the volunteers at Cruise Eden and the Eden community generally have worked hard to develop Eden as a cruise destination. Together with P&O Cruises, we can drive the success of this new venture, putting Eden, Twofold Bay and our wonderful coastal attractions on the international cruise calendar,” Mr Taylor said.
Ms Sherry said the cruise line was pleased that Pacific Eden will be a regular visitor to Eden and that the area will benefit from the long value chain of cruising.
“P&O Cruises’ expansion to become 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 a year in 2015, five years earlier than forecast,” Ms Sherry said.