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P&O will make its inaugural call into the Sunshine Coast’s Mooloolaba this weekend, when Pacific Pearl visits the Queensland port during a four-day cruise from Sydney.

The 63,875-tonne ship is scheduled to arrive on Saturday morning, with 1,800 passengers onboard.

Upon arrival, Pacific Pearl will be welcomed with a special outrigger boat race dubbed the Carnival Classic. Competitors will race from the port out to the anchored ship, around it and then return to shore.

Passengers will step ashore at the Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium jetty where they can get up close to seals and go shark diving.

Additionally, there will be a market on at the wharf with music and entertainment. Businesses are also making arrangements to offer cruisers options to enjoy local attractions.

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson said he is excited for tomorrow’s visit and said it shows confidence in Mooloolaba as a cruise destination.

“This news is truly fantastic, and it shows great confidence in the Sunshine Coast as a viable destination,” he said in AFLOAT Magazine.

“Even before the first cruise has arrived from Sydney, P&O Cruises and its parent company Carnival Cruises are showing confidence in the short-cruise market to the Sunshine Coast.”

The visit is part of P&O’s expansion into smaller and regional destinations around Australia, which also includes inaugural calls to Eden, Kangaroo Island, Burnie, Port Arthur and Port Lincoln next year.

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