Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On Any Given Sunday

Last Sunday we had the Maritime Festival, the week before that we had Mattara & this week we had a visit by the superliner, Sun Princess. Like I said in an earlier entry, there is always something happening on Newcastle Harbour.

The 77,000 tonne Sun Princess is one of Princess Cruises ships that are now doing the lucrative
Australian summer market & is making Newcastle one of their ports of call, supposedly injecting $500,000 into the local economy with each visit. Princess Cruises have penciled in another two
visits this season & from 2010 P&O Cruises will be basing one of their ships, the Pacific Sun, in Newcastle to tap into this market.

The Sun Princess is a modern superliner built in 1995 for around $400million, can carry around 2,000 passengers & has quite an impressive array of features & on board activities to enjoy. Try these out;
  • Over 400 staterooms include balconies
  • Wrap-round promenade deck
  • 24-hour buffet/bistro with 270-degree view over bow
  • Poolside hamburger grill and ice cream bar
  • Pizzeria and premium steakhouse
  • Wine and caviar bar
  • Patisserie
  • Four-storey atrium lobby with ocean views
  • Two show lounges
  • Spa with ocean-view gymnasium
  • Sports court and jogging track
  • Four swimming pools
  • Bay view listening library
  • Computerized golf centre
  • Lavish casino
  • Gallery of shops
  • Business centre
So these ships are virtually floating palaces & wherever they go they generate great media & public interest.

The Sun Princess only stayed for a day in Newcastle & visitors apparently spent a their time up in
wineries, or at the Darby Street Festival, enjoying some of the best food & wine that the Hunter has to offer.

So at 6pm the Sun Princess left from Dyke No1 & headed north to Brisbane, continuing its circumnavigation of Australia. Due to the 261 metre length of the Sun Princess, the ship had to perform a '3 point turn', between Queens Wharf & Stockton to leave the harbour. This was in itself was quite a spectacular operation, with the tugs &
the ship all working in unison.

Yep, Newcastle really does know how to put on a celebration for our visiting nautical tourists, from the perfect weather, 1,000's of well wishers waving goodbye from the foreshore & Fort Scratchley firing her guns in salute, it was a truly wonderful sight.

So when the Dawn Princess pays Newcastle a visit on the 10th December 2009, grab your camera & get down to the Foreshore & celebrate this unique occasion.

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