P&O Cruises takes casual dining to next level on Pacific Explorer

Tuesday 9th May 2017

P&O Cruises will soon be serving gourmet burgers and traditional Italian Neapolitan pizzas at sea, revealing plans to launch a new poolside grill called Luke’s by Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan and a new partnership with popular Melbourne-based pizza maker Johnny Di Francesco on its latest ship, Pacific Explorer.

The new casual dining outlets have been unveiled in the cruise line’s latest brochure, which features record ship deployments for both Brisbane and Adelaide as part of P&O’s 2018-19 offering.

For the first time, Australia’s home grown cruise line will base three ships in Brisbane, with
Queensland holidaymakers able to enjoy a spring season of cruises on Pacific Jewel from September to November 2018, as well as year-round cruising on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria.

Between them, the three ships are scheduled to offer 126 cruises from Brisbane in 2018 – an 18 per cent increase on 2017. Their itineraries will feature an unprecedented 27 short three- and four-night cruises, with fares starting from $428* per person quad share for a three-night comedy cruise departing Brisbane on February 9, 2019.

Meanwhile, South Australians will be able to cruise from their doorstep in February and March 2019 with a record 12 P&O cruises on offer including Sea Breaks visiting Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island and Melbourne. Fares start from $384* per person quad share for a three-night cruise departing Adelaide on February 2, 2019.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the new program underlined the fantastic range of itineraries and onboard offerings now available across the cruise line’s five-ship fleet, including Pacific Explorer which debuts in Sydney in June this year.

“The past two years have seen the evolution of our cruise product with all our ships now offer great food and wine options and a contemporary look and feel,” Mr Myrmell said.

“We’re very excited to be taking the next step on Pacific Explorer with our new burger and pizza offerings, which reflects the trend towards casual gourmet dining on land.

“Australians love Salt grill by Luke Mangan on our existing ships, so we’re looking forward to giving them a new way to enjoy Luke’s talent, with al fresco dining at Luke’s on Pacific Explorer. It’s going to offer a modern, relaxed setting, providing a great backdrop for some seriously delicious gourmet burgers – including Luke’s Chicken Confidential burger which is making waves in Sydney at the moment,” he said.

Mr Myrmell said Pacific Explorer guests keen to enjoy the Salt grill experience, would be able to book a special ‘Taste of Salt’ dinner at the ship’s Chef’s Table, with a seven-course degustation meal including some of Luke’s most famous dishes as well as matching wines.

Pacific Explorer will also be home to a new pizzeria, 400 Gradi, overseen by famed Melbourne pizza chef Johnny Di Francesco. The first Australian ever trained in Naples to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana VPN rules, Johnny was the winner of the Best Pizza in the World award in 2014.

Onboard Pacific Explorer, 400 Gradi will be serving up more than a dozen types of traditional Italian Neapolitan pizzas along with charcuteries boards, olives, cheeses and salads.

The casual dining outlets will join a range of other exciting new offerings on Pacific Explorer including a partnership with Sydney distillery Archie Rose Distilling Co in the ship’s premium cocktail bar, The Bonded Store, which will feature a tantalising list of cocktails made with Archie Rose’s handcrafted spirits.

Other new features for the ship include a waterpark and two spectacular waterslides shooting over the side of the ship as well as a relaxed barefoot lawn bowls area.

The new 2018-19 program will deliver 180 cruises including 39 three-night roundtrip Sea Break cruises from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Auckland and more than 40 different cruises to the Pacific Islands, ranging from seven to 16 nights.

Other itinerary highlights include a new Tribute to ‘The King’ cruise, which promises to give holidaymakers one for the money as they celebrate a legend of rock and roll. Departing Sydney on June 1, 2018, the three-night Pacific Eden cruise is priced from $340* per person quad share.

Meanwhile, P&O will return to Tasmania in June 2018 on its second Dark Mofo cruise, with the five-night roundtrip cruise from Sydney on Pacific Eden taking in two days of the fabulous winter festival. Prices start from $736* per person quad share.

The new brochure also highlights a range of one-way Sea Breaks with more than 10 different itinerary options on offer. Fares start from $129* per person quad share for a two-night cruise between Sydney and Melbourne departing 14 November 2017.

For more information visit pocruises.com.au, call 13 24 94 or see a licensed travel agent.

*Subject to availability, conditions apply

SOURCE: P&O Cruises

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