03 May 2010: P&O Cruises’ 70,000-tonne superliner Pacific Dawn will be taking 2000 rugby devotees to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand under a special charter announced today.
The sport division of TUI Travel PLC, the world’s biggest leisure group, and Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, have combined to offer one of the most exciting and memorable Rugby World Cup cruise experiences.
Pacific Dawn will be in Auckland on Sunday, October 23 so that its devotees of ‘the game they play in heaven’ can enjoy the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final.
“Pacific Dawn will be far more than a floating hotel for the 2011 Rugby World Cup,” said Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry. “She will be home for 2000 passengers whose passion for rugby will be satisfied both onboard and onshore during the course of the cruise.
“This is the first time we have chartered a ship for a Rugby World Cup but it is not our first experience in looking after rugby supporters. In 2005, we chartered Pacific Sun for the British Lions’ Rugby tour of New Zealand,” Ms Sherry said.
Rugby supporters from Europe, South Africa and Australia will experience a rugby-themed cruise of New Zealand’s scenic attractions, in addition to all the drama and excitement of Rugby World Cup and key knock-out matches in Christchurch and Auckland plus a visit to Wellington. A line up of former rugby internationals will add to the onboard experience.
“We are delighted to be able offer this unique cruise to solve the accommodation issues we face in the latter stages in New Zealand during Rugby World Cup 2011,” said Managing Director of TUI Travel Sport businesses Darren Mee.
“By taking on this commitment we can ensure that fans are able to experience the latter part of the Rugby World Cup in an atmospheric and unique environment and experience the warm hospitality of New Zealand and its distinctive culture. We look forward to a very successful Rugby World Cup 2011 and growing our relationship with P&O Cruises further.”
Pacific Dawn boasts almost 800 cabins, including nearly 200 with private balconies. Her other features include a spectacular entertainment area and observation lounge “The Dome”, an array of restaurants and cafes, nine bars and lounges, two pools, a jogging track, gym and spa.
Pacific Dawn will arrive in Auckland on October 4, 2011, after repositioning from Brisbane for the four-week charter.