The first cruises on Australia’s latest superliner, Pacific Jewel, have gone on sale, with P&O Cruises announcing details of her 2009-2010 program from Brisbane.

The 70,310-tonne Pacific Jewel will call Brisbane home full-time from its launch on December 12, 2009, replacing Pacific Sun, which will cruise from Fremantle and Auckland.

Pacific Jewel will be one of the most spacious and modern ships cruising in Australian waters, with a stunning 1300m² ocean-view spa and fitness centre, a three-storey atrium foyer and an open-air deck with aerial stage for circus and music performances.

The ship also features almost 200 private balcony cabins, the most in the P&O Cruises’ fleet.

Pacific Jewel’s debut reflects increasing demand for cruise holidays in Australia, with P&O Cruises also set to introduce a fourth ship to Australian waters at the end of 2010.

Announcing the new program, Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said Pacific Jewel’s debut was a boon to Australian holidaymakers looking for a great value holiday on a modern, amenity-packed superliner.

"Pacific Jewel is a fantastic ship, featuring great restaurants, cafes, a sensational spa and exciting entertainment like circus acts, all at one fixed price," Ms Sherry said.

"Not only will her cruises take her to some magical ports, she really is a destination in herself and we think our passengers will love her."

The new program covers Pacific Jewel’s inaugural summer season, with 16 voyages to the South Pacific, New Zealand, Tasmania and Queensland on offer from December 2009 to April 2010, with seven-night holidays available from $778*.

Highlights of Pacific Jewel’s inaugural program include:

· 7-night cruises to New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands and Vanuatu departing Brisbane on January 23, February 13, March 6 and 13, 2010. Fares start from $778 quad-share and $1256 twin-share.*

· P&O Cruises’ first Tasmanian cruise – an 11-night voyage around the island state visiting Port Arthur, Hobart and Burnie and cruising through the beautiful waters of Coles Bay, departing Brisbane on January 30, 2010. Fares start from $1267 quad-share and $1832 twin-share.*

· A 14-night voyage around New Zealand visiting seven beautiful destinations on the North and South Islands. The cruise departs Brisbane on February 20, 2010, with fares starting from $1597 quad-share or $2307 twin-share*.

· A three-night ‘sampler’ cruise perfect for first-time cruisers keen to discover the pleasures of a holiday, departing Brisbane on February 10, 2010 from $456 quad-share and $723 twin-share*.

A brochure detailing the new cruises will be released in March 2009. Passengers booked on Pacific Sun’s proposed cruises from Dec 2009-April 2010 have been transferred onto Pacific Jewel.