Princess Cruises’ international megaliner Majestic Princess made her maiden visit to Port Vila on Tuesday (22 October) alongside P&O Cruises’ Pacific Aria as part of a special ‘two ship celebration’ for the city.

The day marked a major milestone – it is the first time two large cruise ships have berthed in Vila on the same day.

And the ships brought about 5000 guests to the city who spent the day on shore tours discovering the warmth and culture of the Vanuatu people as well as wandering through the markets and shops.

At 143,700 gross tonnes and carrying 3,560 guests, Majestic Princess is the largest and newest ship in the Princess Cruises’ fleet in this region and now also holds the mantle of being the largest ship to berth at Main Wharf.

Meanwhile, P&O Cruises’ Pacific Aria, a more regular sight in Vila, was at Lapetasi Wharf and now has the honour of being the first large cruise ship to berth there. Pacific Aria carries more than 1,200 guests.

Both Majestic Princess and Pacific Aria sail as part of the Carnival Australia fleet, which is the major cruise ship operator in the region and the only to have ships sailing all year round to Vanuatu.

Their sister cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line, also sail from Australia and are also regular visitors to Vanuatu.

“Across our popular cruise lines, Carnival Australia is the backbone of cruising in this region and brings about a quarter of a million tourists to Vanuatu each year,” President of Carnival Australia Sture Myrmell said.

“Because of this deep partnership, I am proud that two of our magnificent ships - Majestic Princess and Pacific Aria – helped create this special two-ship celebration for Vila and Vanuatu.

“In particular, I want to thank the landowners of Lapetasi Wharf who welcomed Pacific Aria so that the beautiful megaliner Majestic Princess could call at Main Wharf.

“It is a huge honour to be part of this milestone moment because we have many strong connections with Vanuatu including through the hundreds of Ni Vanuatu crew who work onboard P&O Cruises and our guests’ support of many community programs including the education and training of young paramedics at Promedical as well as helping the famous Vanuatu Beach Volleyball women compete at the next Olympic Games.”

In another sign of support for the Vanuatu economy, P&O Cruises is the only Cruise line in the world that has Alean chocolate and Azure Water as suppliers.