New P&O cruise ships named

ANNIE DANG
Last updated 09:13 14/07/2014
Port Macquarie artist Chloe Dickey

JUST CRUISIN': Port Macquarie artist Chloe Dickey reveals the ship names in a sand mural at Sydney's Bondi Beach.

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Two cruise ships to be based in Australia next year have had their new names revealed - as chosen by the public.

P&O Cruises revealed the ships will be named the Pacific Aria and the Pacific Eden.

It joins the ranks of the cruise line's other ships, past and present, in the "Pacific" name fleet - Pacific Sky, Pacific Star, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl, just to name a few.

P&O's first ship to be based in Australia was the Fair Princess, but more than 93 per cent of the entries featured the word "Pacific" the cruise line said.

The two ships' names were selected from a pool of more than 30,000 possible names submitted by Australians and New Zealanders as part of a competition launched by the cruise line last month.

While the most common choices took inspiration from jewels and gemstones, such as Opal and Diamond (both of which were nominated more than 500 times each).

Names with a celestial theme were among the most popular put forward, with other including Dream, Starlight, Moonlight and Twilight. The cruise liner said most names were often coupled with the word Pacific. Other themes included flowers, nautical terms, indigenous names and Greek mythology.

Inspiration for names also ranged from the creative and quirky, such as the Australian-themed Skippy, Blinky Bill, Dinky Di, Crikey and the Minogue-themed Kylie and Danni. Other suggestions included Heart and Soul, Pizzazz and Charisma.

Some drew inspiration from pop culture, including names inspired from the TV show Game of Thrones with suggestions such as Daenerys, Arya and Sansa, as well as The Lion King with Hakuna Matata.

Among the most famous ship names in the world are the Cunard Queens, including the current triumvirate of Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. There are fewer than 60 ships with single-word names in the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships.

P&O Cruises' two latest ships will debut in Australia in November next year taking the cruise line's fleet here to a record five ships.

The cruise line said Eden, suggested by Nikki Smith from Bentley Park, Cairns, was chosen because it conjured up a "sense of peace and images of paradise and beautiful destinations". The cruise line also visits the town of Eden on the NSW coast.

Aria, suggested Katie Luxa from Canning Vale, Perth, was chosen for its suggestion of "beauty, grandeur and escapism" the cruise line said in a statement.

The winners have won a trip for two on the inaugural cruise of their respective ships, and will also be a special guests at the naming celebrations.

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- FFX Aus

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