An “army” of Queensland Rugby League fans marched into the heart of Sydney today to stake their claim on this year’s State of Origin series as intensity builds ahead of the opening game.
One hundred Maroons super fans advanced into Blues’ territory to join some of the biggest names in QLD rugby league onboard P&O Cruises' Pacific Explorer in Sydney Harbour.
And the fans got a once-in-a-lifetime “selfie” moment – a photo on the bow of P&O Cruises’ flagship, Pacific Explorer, under the shadow of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge alongside Sam Thaiday, Meg Ward, Dane Gagai, Wendell Sailor and Corey Parker and a seven-metre high giant cane toad.
The visit was organised in partnership with QLD Rugby League to recognise the passion of their die-hard fans as pressure builds ahead of the much-anticipated State of Origin series opener in Brisbane on June 5.
P&O Cruises is the only cruise line to have a ship based all year round in Brisbane and has its first Maroons Members cruise in October this year.
But the cruise line wanted to give the Maroons Members a sneak-peak of P&O Cruises’ flagship, Pacific Explorer, which will call Brisbane home from October 2020.
“P&O Cruises and the QRL have something very powerful in common – we both share a passion for the state of Queensland, which is why we have based a ship in Brisbane all year round for almost 10 years,” P&O Cruises Vice President Sales & Marketing Ryan Taibel said.
“We wanted to celebrate that passion today with our partner, QRL, and its die-hard “super fans” in a way that provided a special memory but was also a little bit cheeky and reflected our sense of humour”.
Mr Taibel said P&O was proud of its partnership with Queensland Rugby League and the cruise line’s newest ambassador Queensland Maroon Meg Ward who joins rugby league great Sam Thaiday in the shared role.
Queensland Rugby League Managing Director Robert Moore said the Maroons Members had won the chance to fly to Sydney for today’s exclusive event as part of the new partnership with the cruise line.
Fans have enjoyed lunch onboard the 70,000-tonne Pacific Explorer and rubbed shoulders with the rugby league legends who gave their insights into the lead-up to the first game.
“This spectacular event has reinforced just how passionate Queensland fans are about their rugby league team,” Mr Moore said.
“The opportunity to rub shoulders with current and former Origin stars behind enemy lines has provided a unique experience for our Members, which is what this partnership with P&O Cruises is all about.
“It has been a lot of fun, but we’re all looking forward to getting back home to Brisbane for Game I of the series. And as of next year, we can’t wait to see the Pacific Explorer call Brisbane home as well.”
P&O Cruises two-year partnership with QRL gives Maroons fans exclusive offers including a Members’ cruise featuring a stellar line-up of players, past and present, departing from Brisbane in October 2019.
In addition to meeting Maroons legends onboard, fans can also stay up to date with the latest action by watching every Origin game which will now be streamed live across P&O’s fleet.