The newest addition to Sydney’s fleet received a super-star welcome this week.
Emerald Princess – the biggest Princess Cruises’ ship to be based in Sydney, gives Princess a capacity of 11,800 berths across five ships – the biggest fleet outside of America.
The 3,082-vessel will be here for six months, making 13 round trips to New Zealand, the South Pacific and Tasmania.
She has a Curtis Stone signature restaurant, SHARE, and an onboard Broadway musical ‘Magic to Do’, created by Oscar award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz.
And, in another first, the line has recreated the TV talent show ‘The Voice’, complete with judge’s red chairs. Passengers will be the contestants, with coaching from the ship’s entertainment staff and former Hi-5 star Nathan Foley.
The ‘Voice of the Ocean’ will be a major feature of the ship’s entertainment.
Princess Cruises Vice President Australia and New Zealand Stuart Allison told Cruise Passenger the line last week had its highest booking day on record.
“Incredibly excited to have this ship here and particularly with this restaurant,” he said before lunch at SHARE. “Having eaten here in Fremantle and Melbourne, I can assure you people will love it.”
He added: “Australia has been the biggest source market for Princess outside the US for a number of years now and 2016 has been a record year.
“2017 is looking like it will be even bigger.
“The reason Australians love Princess is because of the variety in our itineraries. We have itineraries of anything from two nights 104 days, so guests can come again and again. More than half our guests have cruised with us before.”
Mr Allison said exploring and recharging were the hallmarks of a Princess cruise.
And the food offerings meant that passengers can dine at Curtis Stone’s Share restaurant every night – while in Los Angeles, where Stone has just been named top chef, you have to book three weeks in advance.