The popularity of P&O Cruises’ themed Main Event cruise itineraries will see the line expand its range of niche departures in 2017 with an additional ship sailing to the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne and a brand new niche sailing taking travellers to the Dark Mofo Festival in Hobart. Both cruises feature as headline acts in the brand’s 2017/18 schedule with details gradually being released to the public.

Curiously described as a cross between “a medieval wedding reception and Christmas”, the Dark Mofo Festival attracts large crowds each winter for its eclectic celebration of all things dark, with a full schedule of events themed around artworks, food, music, film and general weirdness. The gathering takes place at Hobart’s famed Museum of Old & New Art (MONA).

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel will set sail from Sydney on 13 June 2017 bound for Hobart and carrying a load of Dark Mofo fans. The six-night itinerary will see the ship spend three days in the Tasmanian capital, with fares including entry to the festival precinct at MONA. Cabins on the Dark Mofo Festival cruise are priced from $599 per person quad share.

Another P&O Main Event cruise growing in popularity is the annual cruise to the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament. In January 2018, P&O will effectively double capacity to the event by deploying both Pacific Aria and Pacific Pearl on voyages from Sydney.

Guests on the sailings will enjoy two days in Melbourne to enjoy the tennis action at Melbourne Park, with ticket options included with the cruise fare that are able to be upgraded for an additional fee (subject to availability with some categories). Fares for the Pacific Aria Australian Open sailing start from $799 per person quad share.

Other new additions to P&O’s schedule for 2017/18 include a dedicated Australia Day cruise departing from Brisbane onboard Pacific Eden. The six-night voyage will see guests cruise south to enjoy the annual Australia Day festivities in Sydney Harbour as well as visiting Newcastle and Moreton Island as part of the same itinerary. Staterooms on this cruise are priced from $1,099 per person quad share.

P&O is also expanding its 2017 schedule of cruises from Fremantle in Western Australia on Pacific Eden, with four new departures added including a four-night P&O Sea Break to Exmouth, a four-night sailing to Busselton – home to the Margaret River wine region, a three-night comedy cruise and a 10-night voyage to the state’s northern regions, visiting Broome, Exmouth and Geraldton as well as enjoying scenic cruising along the Kimberley coastline.