In its 48th year of cruising to the Melbourne Cup, Australia's only homegrown cruise line P&O Cruises is offering its biggest and best line up of onboard talent and entertainment including fashion parades featuring Australian designers and its first betting master classes.
Three P&O ships will sail to the Spring Carnival on October 29 with Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl departing on six-night itineraries from Sydney and Pacific Dawn offering a seven-night Cup cruise from Brisbane.
Ensuring the nearly 6000 guests put their best put forward at the premier thoroughbred race, a host of Australian designers will be represented onboard as part of the Fashions at Sea events hosted by media personalities and style commentators Melissa Hoyer, Bianca Dye and Nicky Buckley. There will be styling workshops onboard Pacific Dawn with Naomi Bell and fascinator-making workshops across the fleet with leading milliners from Kim Fletcher Millinery including Kim, Amanda Macor and Serena Lindeman, who created the "million-dollar hat" which took out the inaugural Fashions on the Field.
Racing-themed onboard activities will include presentations and photo opportunities with racing stalwarts such as Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michael Clarke; owner of winning horse Rogan Josh, Wendy Green; jockey and trackwork rider for Bart Cummings, Joe Agresta; and jockey Greg Childs.
For the first time the cruise line is offering betting master classes with racing experts to ensure all guests know how to have a trackside punt.
Other highlights include a Hats and High Tea event, a phantom race call and quintessential Aussie entertainment including Steady Eddy, Glenn Shorrock, The Tap Pack and Peter Byrne.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the cruise line had been sending ships to the Melbourne Cup since 1969, with the annual voyages remaining one of the cruise line’s most popular offerings.
"Cruising is the ultimate way to experience the ‘race that stops a nation’. It offers unbeatable value for a world-class event with transport, accommodation, meals and entry included, and also combines two of Australians’ great loves – cruising and horse racing. With a field that includes some of the best talent from Australia’s fashion and racing industries, our guests will be race-ready when they arrive in Melbourne, and will enjoy the journey as much as the occasion," Mr Myrmell said.
With its 6000 guests accounting for about 5 per cent of punters on the day, P&O Cruises will again offer its own VIP area at Flemington - the P&O Cruises’ Lawn.