P&O Cruises’ Pacific Aria made her maiden visit to Newcastle, signaling the growing popularity of the port city as a cruise destination, according to Carnival Australia.

The 55,820-ton Pacific Aria docked at Channel Berth in Newcastle, part of a five-night cruise from Brisbane, which also included a day in Sydney Harbour on January 26.

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said Newcastle was an increasingly popular call for P&O following the expansion of its fleet last year, which had opened up new itinerary opportunities.

“Newcastle has a lot to offer our guests, from its beautiful beaches to the nearby Hunter Valley wine region. Its location between Melbourne and Brisbane makes it an ideal destination for our increasingly popular short breaks, providing a great way for holidaymakers from Victoria and Queensland to enjoy a long weekend indulging in some of the best food and wine Australia has to offer both onboard our ships and in the Hunter region,” Myrmell said.