Cruise Ships Assemble in Melbourne for the Cup

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Three megaships have docked in Melbourne, providing passage for 10% of total guests to the Melbourne Cup – ‘the race that stops a nation’. P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl have been joined by the Carnival Spirit, docked in Melbourne’s Station Pier, for three days around the annual race and Spring Carnival.

More than 6,000 guests arrived for the race aboard the three ships, the single largest injection of visitors to the Melbourne Cup, helping to pump more than $6million into the economy during their three day stay.

The three simultaneous docked ships represent a historic day for Melbourne’s cruising industry, with more guests than ever before passing through the port on a single day. The state’s economy is set to benefit significantly with an estimated $3.5million of entry fees paid by guests from the three ships.

P&O’s VIP package has proven to be incredibly popular with punters after more than half of their passengers opted for this luxury upgrade during the annual celebration. The package gives guests unlimited access to the P&O Cruises Lawn.

The event has proven to be a huge success for P&O and the cruise line looks set to increase their services next year by sending all three P&O Australia ships to Melbourne for the cup.

P&O Cruises CEO, Ann Sherry, revealed: “Australians love cruising and sports and by combining the two, we know we’re backing a winner — that’s why we’re sending a record quaddie of ships next year, including all three P&O ships.

“P&O Cruises is as Australian as you can get so it’s no surprise that the race that stops the nation will also see the entire fleet come to a standstill in Melbourne in 2015.”

P&O Cruises first sent a ship to the Melbourne Cup in 1969, when the Orcades III made the voyage.

A selection of special events for cruise guests in Melbourne have been organised for the cruise guests including behind-the-scenes tours of Flemington and tickets to the official Cup brunch.

German challenger Protectionist recorded its fourth Melbourne Cup win, ridden by English jockey Ryan Moore, with British runner Red Cadeaux scooping second place and Who Shot Thebarman, coming third.

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Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Roger Wollstadt

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Lily Egge

Lily is in her mid 60’s and loves cruising. She and her partner have cruised on at least 40 cruises so far and there is much more to see. They usually travel on a balcony cabin, especially at Christmas where they celebrate on the cruise with the family. She lives in Manifold Heights in Victoria. Lily writes for Cruise 1st on a regular basis.

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