In just a few days Melbourne will welcome its first homeported Princess Cruises ship as Golden Princess makes her way back from Noumea to her new base. The ship will be based in Melbourne from October to March, cruising around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Golden Princess made her maiden call in Australia when she arrived in Sydney earlier this week as part of Princess Cruises’ biggest ever season. It will be the largest ship ever based in Melbourne, weighing in at 108,000 tonnes and accommodating 2,600 passengers.

The ship was refurbished in May 2015 and onboard features include four swimming pools, 12 restaurants and cafes, a large spa and the Skywalker Nightclub which is suspended at the rear of the ship. More than half of the 1,318 staterooms have balconies.

Golden Princess brings Princess’ local fleet to five, alongside sister ships Diamond, Dawn, Sun and Sea Princess. And Australian cruisers can expect to see a lot more of Golden Princess following the recent announcement that she will be homeported in Australia year round in 2017.

Don’t miss our review of Golden Princess in the next issue of Cruise Passenger magazine, on sale in December.