Emerald Princess cruise ship to debut in Sydney: Another cruise giant to call Australia home

Australia could be on its way to becoming one of the world's largest cruise hub with the addition of Princess Cruises' Emerald Princess – the biggest Princess Cruises' ship to be based in Sydney so far.

The 3082-passenger ship will join the cruise line's existing fleet of five Down Under in late 2016 for its debut cruise season in Australia. When it arrives, Australia will be home to the largest Princess Cruises fleet outside of the US with record capacity of 11,800 berths across five ships.

The 113,000-tonne Emerald Princess will be based in Sydney from November 2016 to April 2017. It is one of the largest cruise ships in Princess Cruises global fleet and one of the youngest to be deployed in the Australia and New Zealand region. The first-ever Princess Cruises' ship to be based in Australia was the 700-passenger ship, Pacific Princess, which arrived in the summer of 2002.

There are 1500 rooms on board the Emerald Princess and guests can look forward to 13 dining options, eight showrooms and lounges, two nightclubs and four swimming pools.

A child-free "Sanctuary" area, poolside Movies Under the Stars and the luxurious Lotus Spa are just some of the signature "Princess" features on offer for guests looking for a bit of indulgence at sea.

The ship will offer itineraries from Sydney, to New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific. Details of the ship's itinerary will be realised in March along with the full 2016-17 program for all Princess Cruises ships.

The Emerald princess is currently in Caribbean where she will spend the northern winter, and then make her way to Europe and the Mediterranean. 

Cruising is booming in Australia with 833,348 Australian cruisers in 2013, a 20 per cent increase from the previous year's record of 694,062. This season there will be more than 600 ship visits by 36 ships to ports around the country. 

Australia is ranked as the fastest-growing cruise market in world according to 2013 figures released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).