P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer will be making three additional calls to Eden this season in support of the Sapphire Coast economic recovery after the bushfire crises.

The Pacific Explorer will make three calls on March 29, May 10 and May 16, in addition to its previously scheduled call on March 15.

The announcement came as the Pacific Aria called at Eden last Friday, Carnival Australia’s first ship to call in Eden following the bushfires.

This will bring an additional 6,000 guests to the region, sending out the message that Eden and the Sapphire Coast are open for business.

“The people of Eden and surrounding communities have endured a terrible period with the impact of the bushfires,” said Sture Myrmell, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia. “Pacific Aria’s arrival today sends a powerful message that the local community is resilient, courageous and ready to welcome visitors.

“We are delighted to be playing a part in the region’s recovery and the three additional P&O ship visits will certainly contribute to much needed commercial activity and support the community’s message that the region is on the path to recovery.”

State Member for Bega and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said: “Our region has been rocked to its core and we need people now more than ever to visit. The additional cruise ships into Eden port will be a great support to local and surrounding businesses and I am grateful for the commitment by P&O Cruises. This will provide an economic injection that many of our local businesses certainly need at this time.”

Port Authority of NSW CEO Philip Holliday said: ‘The Port Authority is pleased to be working with P&O Cruises to support increased cruise visitation to Port of Eden”. Eden Chamber of Commerce President Peter Whiter said: “The Eden Chamber of Commerce is grateful to P&O Cruises for the extra cruise ship visits this season. The impact that the horrific fires have had on our tourist economy has been almost as disastrous as the fires themselves.  It’s going to be a long road to recovery and these visits will help establish the recovery in Eden and the region.”

Mr Myrmell said he hoped Pacific Aria’s visit to Eden would help lift the spirits of the Sapphire Coast community knowing that their fellow Australians support them.  “Pacific Aria’s visit and the three additional P&O calls to Eden are a further sign that the Sapphire Coast is also on the path to recovery and we are honoured to help.”