Australia’s favourite cruise company, P&O Cruises, has announced the introduction of themed sampler cruises – relaxing gourmet voyages offering wine tasting, coffee appreciation and cooking classes with signature chefs.

The new two and three-night sampler cruises spearhead P&O Cruises’ latest Pacific Dawn and Pacific Sun 2010 brochure, which features 24 new cruises across the fleet and stunning savings of up to 50 per cent.

Departing from both Sydney and Brisbane and priced from just $448* for two nights and $657* for three nights, the sampler cruises cater to holidaymakers who are eager to dip into cruising for the first time, as well as those simply looking for the ultimate weekend escape.

Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, believes the enduring popularity of the cruise line is a result of continued innovation and a commitment to enhancing the onboard experience.

“The introduction of our new onboard activities – including greater entertainment options for children and families, new fitness programs and our recent food and beverage overhaul – continues to garner loyalty from our passengers, who sail with P&O Cruises holiday after holiday,” Ms Sherry said.

With local interest in shipboard holidays increasing, P&O Cruises has launched shorter, themed voyages to cater for the growing demand from Australians eager to whet their appetite for cruising with short weekend escapes.

“These new sampler cruises mean we will now be able to share the unique P&O Cruises experience with more people than ever before,” Ms Sherry said.

Other 2010 program highlights include a new 11-night Tasmania itinerary from Brisbane on Pacific Sun – P&O Cruises’ first ever journey to the Apple Isle setting sail in the summer of 2010. The cruise line has also included its first New Zealand itinerary from Sydney in more than eight years onboard Pacific Dawn in February 2010.