With the arrival of home-porting cruise ships in key Australian cities, holidaymakers can enjoy fantastic benefits almost door-to-door. You avoid the airport dash, the long-haul flights – or if you live near Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane – no flights at all. All very appealing, especially with the festive season fast approaching. Just board the ship, unpack once, and wave goodbye to the heat of the kitchen as you enjoy one of P&O’s best Christmas cruises.
As suitable for a family festive get-together as it is for couples, Christmas aboard one of P&O’s ships offers plenty of fun, fantastic food and goodwill to go round. It could be an ideal means of smoothing family relationships during what can be a stressful time of the year. Everyone’s in a holiday mood, there’s plenty of space to escape to if you need some “me time” – think spa, retail therapy, the gym – or if you’re game, P&O ships’ fabulous adventure park and a Kids’ Club for the littlies.
The pickiest of family members are catered for from a groaning board of festive fare. The ship’s dining rooms feature two special menus: a Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch. Lunch includes chilled prawn cocktail, blue swimmer crab cake, baked oyster, roasted duck, barbecued tiger prawns and roast lamb, while dinner features slow-roasted turkey, honey-glazed ham, roast lamb rack and grilled fillet of sea bream. There will be mountains of salads, fresh vegetables and afterwards – Christmas pudding, fruit mince pies and everyone gets a cracker. And when it’s all over, no washing up!
You get the best of both worlds: the traditions of a cool-climate, northern hemisphere Christmas and a warm, tropical-climate southern hemisphere Christmas. There will be snow- flakes a-sprinkling, carollers a-singing, and Santa ho-ho-hoing, Ashore, there are the pristine beaches and balmy waters of New Caledonia’s Isle of Pines and Lifou, the glamorous resorts of Port Douglas, and Cooktown’s fascinating history. Or you can head back to the ship to P&OEdge’s adventure park, where you can get some thrills on a bungy tramp, flying fox, surf simulator or by walking the plank.
P&O Cruises offer a feast of Christmas voyages:
Pacific Aria: 10-night round-trip Queensland cruise departing Brisbane, Thursday December 17, 2015 visiting Hamilton Island, Port Douglas (overnight), Cooktown, Willis Island (cruise by), Christmas Day on Moreton Island.
Pacific Eden: 12-night round-trip Queensland cruise, departing Sydney December 16, 2015 visiting Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast), Hamilton Island, Cairns, Cooktown, Willis Island (cruise by) and Moreton Island. Christmas Day at sea.
Pacific Dawn: Nine-night round-trip Pacific Islands cruise, departing Brisbane December 19, 2015 visiting Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Vila, and Lifou. Christmas Day on Lifou.
Pacific Pearl: 10 night round-trip Pacific Island cruise, departing Sydney December 17, 2015 visiting Noumea, Mystery Island, Vila and Mystery Island. Christmas Day in Noumea
Pacific Jewel: 12 night round-trip Pacific Island cruise departing Melbourne December 17, 2015 visiting Isle of Pines, Lifou, Port Vila and Mystery Island. Christmas Day in Noumea.