The Melbourne Cup is circled in red on the annual Aussie events calendar. It is not only "the race that stops the nation" but a major social event, a fashion show, an unmissable betting fixture, a public holiday for the Melbourne metropolitan area and an extravaganza of day drinking and champagne. Essentially, the perfect day out for people from all walks of life.
A cruise is an inspired way to enjoy the Cup, especially for those who will have to travel down for it. Don't bother with congested roads in November heat - just step aboard a ship and be transported to Melbourne in ocean-going style, with sea breezes to keep you cool and endless onboard food, entertainment and cocktails to make the trip a fun one.
There are several options for a Melbourne Cup cruise adventure, with two favourite Aussie cruise lines heading down to take part in the fun.
Experience the Cup with Carnival
Make a real holiday of it with the Carnival Spirit's 8-night Melbourne Cup Cruise which departs Sydney on Friday October 30th. The festivities begin with a Halloween celebration onboard to fill in the leisurely weekend at sea. Carnival's Australia Vice President said of the event: "we like to go all out for Halloween so our guests will be in for a frightfully fun lead up to the Melbourne Cup."
Well-known race caller and expert John Tapp will kick-start the racing hype during the two day journey south with a Q&A session and a Melbourne Cup-themed degustation dinner. Racing personality Richie Callander will also be on board to share his top tips with those who like a flutter.
More interested in the frocks than the fillies? You won't be disappointed - Carnival has organised a fashion parade and fashion advice so you can put your best foot forward.
The ship arrives on Monday to spend four full days in Melbourne, allowing guests plenty of time to enjoy not only the race day itself but the surrounding events - something you will find only on the Carnival Spirit. The cruise fare includes entry to Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday (Cup day) and transfers, and you can purchase upgrades through the line for the Lawn Stand, The Precinct, The Village, The Rose Room, VIP packages and more. Carnival is also offering a discounted price for Crown Oaks Day (also known as Ladies Day) on the Thursday, with $55 getting you a general admission ticket including a complimentary Lawn Stand seat.
This is the ultimate Melbourne Cup cruise experience, and the four days in port is perfect for those who want to visit Australia's cultural and sporting capital in-depth. Get in quick as this cruise is selling out!
Make your picks with P&O
P&O is always a presence in Melbourne during the Cup, and 2015 will be no exception as their entire fleet (just before it expands to five) heads to Melbourne for the racing. The Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel will head down from Sydney, while the Pacific Dawn offers the only Melbourne cup cruise from Brisbane.
The Pearl and Jewel will sail twin itineraries, both departing Sydney on Saturday, October 31st and returning on Friday, November 6th, docking in Melbourne from Monday morning to Wednesday evening for the Cup festivities on the Tuesday.
The Pacific Dawn cruise is a week-long affair from Saturday to Saturday, with Tuesday and Wednesday spent in Melbourne. Two full sea days on either side of the event mean plenty of time to relax before and after, and this is a great opportunity for Queenslanders to get a slice of the Melbourne Cup cruise action.
Cruise fares include general admission tickets and transfers to Flemington, and the line offers a range of upgrades including - along with favourites like The Precinct, The Village, The Parade Lounge, The Rose Room, the Lawn Stand and more - a private P&O Enclosure with drinks, food, comfortable places to socialize and access to a section of the stands to watch the race.
Join the bandwagon and get onboard a Melbourne Cup cruise! Cruise Sale Finder has great deals on these itineraries so you can cruise on down to Flemington for this very important Aussie event.
To see all P&O Cruises at the Melbourne Cup, click here or head over to our homepage to find another cheap cruise.