Cruise industry notables had a chance to tour Princess Cruises’ spectacular 290-metre long Emerald Princess yesterday, when the ship sailed into Sydney as first ship to make an inaugural call to Australia this summer.
Carrying 3082 guests, Emerald Princess is the largest of five Princess ships which will be based in Australian waters over the summer. She will be homeported in Sydney until April 2017, making 13 roundtrip cruises to New Zealand, the South Pacific and Tasmania.
One of Princess’ largest ships, Emerald Princess offers a spectacular 125-seat SHARE by Curtis Stone restaurant with stunning ocean views over the ship’s wake. The food, as served yesterday, was judged creative and excellent on all counts by everyone who sampled it.
Emerald Princess will be based in Australian waters for five months, sailing alongside four other Princess ships including the 2000-guest Sun Princess, which includes a 75-seat SHARE by Curtis Stone restaurant among its offerings.
Princess Cruises vice president Australia & New Zealand, Stuart Allison, said the Sydney arrival of Emerald Princess was a highlight in a bumper cruise season.
“As the first maiden ship of the season, Emerald Princess heads up a parade of more than 40 cruise ships which will be cruising into Sydney and other ports around Australia this summer,” Allison said.
In total, Princess Cruises’ ships will make 39 calls to Sydney over the extended summer season, injecting close to AUD 40 million into the State economy in passenger and crew spending, provedoring and port charges.
Emerald Princess’ visit yesterday is expected to inject close to one million dollars into the local economy, with more than 3000 guests disembarking this morning at the end of a 48-night cruise from Southampton, and a further 3000 guests embarking later today for the ship’s maiden 13-night roundtrip cruise to New Zealand.
The ship’s debut takes Princess Cruises’ Australasian capacity to a record 11,800 berths across five ships during the 2016-17 cruise season. With five of Princess’ 18 ships cruising local waters this summer, Australia ranks as the cruise line’s biggest market outside the United States.
As well as SHARE by Curtis Stone, Emerald Princess’ new Salty Dog pub serves up the Ernesto Burger – rated the best burger at sea – and gourmet small dishes developed with renowned US chef Ernesto Uchimura, combined with whisky flights.
The ship’s arrival will also set the stage for the debut of the much-anticipated onboard musical Magic to Do from Oscar and Tony award-winning Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz.
Emerald Princess sailed 6.45pm yesterday evening on a 13-night roundtrip cruise to New Zealand.
Fares for an 11-night roundtrip cruise on Emerald Princess to New Caledonia and Vanuatu departing Sydney on 21 January 2017, start from AUD 1199 per person twin share with a AUD 75 onboard credit per person (subject to availability, conditions apply).
Written by Peter Needham