Sydney, 4 November 2022 – Australia’s first ever Pride Cruise set sail this afternoon, with homegrown cruise line P&O Cruises’ newest ship, Pacific Adventure, departing Sydney Harbour for an action-packed three-day round-trip itinerary. The first of two Pride sailings in 2022, the itinerary is dedicated to supporting and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community, friends, family and supporters, and promises its 2,200 guests best-in-class entertainment onboard – from stunning drag shows, top-class DJs and outstanding comedy shows.
Bob Downe, one of Australia's most loved and enduring comedy characters, who also wed on a P&O ship in 2017, kicked off the celebrations at midday by officiating two simultaneous same-sex wedding ceremonies for couples Angus Tattle and Chris Johnson, and Carol Noble and Jez Uakari.
Of marrying her partner of 16 years on the bow of the ship overlooking the icons of Sydney Harbour, Carol said: “It feels almost unbelievable that Jez and I have been able to spend such an incredibly important moment with those nearest and dearest to us – AND we get to go on a cruise with Bob Downe! I mean, it does not get better than this.”
Angus and Chris, who have notched up over two decades together, were equally thrilled: “Our original plan was to get married in January 2020 to celebrate our 20-year anniversary. That was thwarted by the pandemic and has been on indefinite hold since. We’ve just now been able to enjoy this wonderful opportunity to get married and have a honeymoon cruise all in one fabulous package. Thank you, P&O!” said Angus.
In speaking about the broader Pride Cruise program, Chris Rich, P&O’s Partnership Manager, said that the cruise will be family, gender and culturally inclusive: “P&O’s Pride weekend at sea will be a celebration like no other! Curated for members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies/supporters, we’ll be celebrating pride in self, the diversity of the community and the endless variety of talented artists, entertainers, educators and influencers who strive for equality for all.”
Joining P&O Cruises for the new sailing are some of Australia’s top champions of equality who support the LGBTQIA+ community through health, well-being and social initiatives. The program lineup includes Bobby Goldsmith Foundation Ambassador and Pride Cruise Ambassador Simon Dunn, drag superstars Art Simone, Etcetera Etcetera and Freddie Merkin, the amazing talents of Bob Downe, Trans Wonderwoman and DJ Victoria Anthony, former rugby league superstar Ian Roberts, DJ Nate, comedian Kirsty Webeck and trans educator and presenter Katherine Wolfgramme.
With other shipboard favourites such as bingo, karaoke, sunlounging, shopping, dining, spa treatments and waterslides on offer, there’s certainly no shortage of activities for guests to enjoy on the three-day voyage. For more information on P&O’s Pride Cruises departing Melbourne (9 December 2022) and Auckland (8 September 2023), visit P&O Cruises website. Prices start from $242 pp.