Carnival Cruise Line has today released details of its 2016 voyage to the Emirates Melbourne Cup voyage, which is set to depart from Sydney on 30 October and will for the first time feature the chance for punters to engage in two days of horse racing action.

Thousands of horse racing socialites will board Carnival Spirit in Sydney for the six-night round-trip, and after a day at sea, will tie up in Melbourne’s Station Pier for three solid days docked in the Victorian capital. Cruise fares include transport and general admission entry on November 1 into Flemington Racecourse for Melbourne Cup Day. Exclusive to passengers on this cruise this year though will be entry into Crown Oaks Day on November 3, however transport for Oaks Day will be at an additional expense.

A limited number of ticket upgrades starting from $55 will be available for guests to improve their view of the track, which opens up The Lawn Stand, The Precinct, The Village, The Parade Lounge, Makybe Diva Marquee or The Rose Room and associated VIP packages also including food and beverages throughout the day.

The entire cruise will be tuned to the race, with a number of special VIP passengers onboard to get guests ready for their day at the Melbourne Cup. These will include legendary race caller John Tapp, returning for the 2016 sailing to regale guests with stories from his calling career and to give expert guidance on the form guide to help punters with their betting.

For the ladies, a fashion presentation from Erica Davis, host of Channel 7’s lifestyle program Sydney Weekender will take place, co-hosted by Aussie fashion designer Karen Gee, who has designed outfits for TV personalities Samantha Armytage, Melissa Doyle & Lisa Wilkinson. Together, the pair will be on hand to help ladies accessorise their dresses and fascinators. A number of themed activities will take place while at sea including toy horse races as well as Carnival’s own Fashions on the Field showcase.

In between the two days of racing, a number of shore excursions will be available to book including city tours of Melbourne, Yarra River cruises, shopping adventures or day tours to the Dandenong Ranges or Phillip Island.

At the end of the third day in Melbourne, Spirit will set sail once again, spending a day at sea before returning to Sydney. Interior staterooms for Carnival’s Melbourne Cup cruise start from $1,899 per person twin share, and like all cruises, include all meals and entertainment onboard the ship (excluding speciality dining).