In a colourful sea invasion from the north, a ship load of rugby league fans and ex-players will sail into Sydney tomorrow morning on the first ever Holden State of Origin cruise from Brisbane.
P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn will arrive in Sydney about 630am, cruising past the Opera House about 645am and docking at White Bay about 730am for a special overnight visit, with all guests receiving entry and transfers to the Origin opener as part of the cruise fare.
With 2000 predominantly Queensland guests onboard, the ship is carrying a significant number of the Maroons fans expected at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
The seven-night roundtrip cruise departed Brisbane on Saturday, calling at Moreton Island on Sunday where past players including Queenslanders Steve Price and Petero Civoniceva and Blues legends Steve Menzies, Paul Harragon, Steve Roach and Paul Sironen went head to head with guests in a game of beach touch football. The ship is calling at Newcastle today providing a great opportunity for fans to explore the city and parade their colours.
During the cruise, fans have enjoyed a range of league-themed activities from Origin trivia hosted by Foxtel presenter Steve Hart plus photo opportunities and Q&A sessions with the former players.
As the ship sails home to Brisbane, there will also be a Holden State of Origin post game wrap-up featuring Steve Roach, Paul Sironen, Petero Civoniceva and Steve Price which will be broadcast live on Facebook.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the cruise line’s expansion to a five-ship fleet had allowed it to bolster its event offering to include one of the biggest fixtures on the local sporting calendar, with the cruise proving to be a sell-out.
“Whether or not the Maroons take home the Origin trophy in 2016, this cruise is a big win for Queensland footy fans. As well as transport, accommodation, food and entertainment, guests on the inaugural State of Origin cruise are getting some of the hottest tickets in town included as part of their cruise fare - it’s seriously great value,” Mr Myrmell said.
“The only thing some of our Queensland guests love more than cruising is the Maroons, so look out Sydney - Pacific Dawn and her ship load of Queenslanders are coming!”