The biggest single contingent of interstate Cup fans was today delivered to Melbourne by Carnival Spirit, Pacific Explorer and Pacific Dawn.
The three Carnival Australia ships collectively carried around 6,000 passengers from Sydney and Brisbane, along with various celebrities and racing luminaries, to attend one of the nation's biggest sports events.
P&O celebrated its 50th anniversary of cruising to the famous horse race with model Fiona Falkiner headlining Pacific Explorer's Fashions at Sea catwalk show, which has been an integral feature of the line's Cup cruises since Orcades sailed to Melbourne in 1969. Race caller Greg Miles, racehorse trainers Brian Jenkins and Sheila Laxon, Melbourne Cup-winning jockey John Letts and milliner Kim Fletcher were also onboard.
On Carnival Spirit, TV host Deborah Hutton presented the Fashions on the Spirit show. Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jim Cassidy and Rogan Josh owner Wendy Green joined the cruise, too.
Pacific Dawn hosted Melbourne Cup-winning jockey John Letts, trackwork rider Joe Agresta, North Queensland milliner Amanda Macor and racehorse trainer Brian Jenkins.
President of Carnival Australia Sture Myrmell said the Melbourne Cup cruises continue to grow in popularity with Australians.
“Our guests are passionate about the Melbourne Cup and each year we’ve seen a growing interest in the number of racing enthusiasts wanting to cruise to the race,” Myrmell said.
“Guests are experiencing an even bigger line-up of the biggest names in fashion and racing as they take a trip down memory lane of cruising to Australia’s iconic sporting and cultural event.”
Next year’s Melbourne Cup program is also shaping to be a major event with two Carnival Australia brand ships set to be there for the first time.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor and P&O Cruises’ Pacific Adventure will both sail from Sydney and offer a wide range of onboard events, dining, entertainment and family activities. Pacific Explorer will also cruise to the Cup from its new Brisbane homeport in 2020.