‘Today’ Takes To The Seas

The TODAY Show will host a ground-breaking television event on Wednesday November 25, bringing viewers one of Sydney Harbour’s biggest ever maritime events – the live P&O Cruises 5 Ship Spectacular.  

With celebrations beginning at 5:30am AEDT & continuing throughout the morning, viewers will see history in the making when 5 P&O ships come together for the 1st time in Sydney Harbour, celebrating the arrival of the Australian cruise line’s latest ships, Pacific Aria & Pacific Eden
Karl Stefanovic
Lisa WilkinsonSylvia JeffreysTim Gilbert & Ross Greenwood will be positioned on the Pacific Aria. Across the water at Fort Denison, Richard Wilkins will host all the entertainment action, joined by the ‘godmothers’ of the 2 ships – singer Jessica Mauboy & actress Kate Ritchie – who will officially name the Pacific Aria & Pacific Eden in a stunning dual christening ceremony during the broadcast.

Stevie Jacobs
 will be at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, hosting a big barbecue for those down at the foreshore to watch the 5 Ship Spectacular. Those celebrating the morning with Stevie will also have a chance to win some amazing prizes including a 9-night P&O cruise to the beautiful Pacific Islands.

Lisa Wilkinson says: “Sydney Harbour is without a doubt one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Watching the sun come up as this magnificent fleet moves into formation off Sydney Heads & then enters the Harbour one by one will be breathtaking.” 
Karl Stefanovic says: “Everyone loves a big boat – so 5 ships in Sydney Harbour will be massive. We’ll have cameras in exclusive vantage points all over Sydney as the ships come in as well as right in the middle of the action when Jess and Kate name the ships & we see those big champagne bottles smash.” 
P&O Cruises Australia Senior Vice-President, Mr Sture Myrmell, said the cruise line was excited to partner with TODAY for the historic broadcast. “This is going to be a day like no other on Sydney Harbour so we’re thrilled that all of Australia will be able to be part of the action with the TODAY Show onboard.”

Join the TODAY Show to watch maritime history in the making: live from 5:30am AEDT Wednesday, November 25.

For more details of P&O’s 5 Ship Spectacular, visit www.pocruises.com.au/5ships

#5Ships #pocruises #Today9

Media Release: Channel Nine

A Coin Of Colour

More than 1.6 million people gather around Sydney Harbour every year to see the globally renowned Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display. As the 3rd coin in the Sydney New Year’s Eve Coin Series, the Royal Australian Mint has again worked with the City Of Sydney to depict the City Of Colour, during that iconic memorable midnight moment on this 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Coin.

Sydney is bursting with colour that attracts people throughout the world to visit and explore its diverse environment. With iconic beaches, a glorious harbour, unique flora and fauna, beautiful landscapes with colour to be seen and music to be heard throughout, a unique culture of diversity and creativity, Sydney’s colourful qualities are beautifully reflected in its world-renowned New Year’s Eve celebrations. With a mintage of 5000, this 1/2 an ounce 99.9% silver coin with a diameter of 35.89mm is a fantastic souvenir to keep of this year’s event.

Obverse Side Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year's Eve 2015 - 'City Of Colour' Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Obverse Side Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Packaging Back Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year's Eve 2015 - 'City Of Colour' Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Packaging Back Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Packaging Front Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year's Eve 2015 - 'City Of Colour' Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Packaging Front Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Packaging Open Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year's Eve 2015 - 'City Of Colour' Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.
Packaging Open Of The 2016 $1 Coloured Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015 – ‘City Of Colour’ Coin. Image: Royal Australian Mint.

Orders are dispatched after the release date of 2 November 2015.

Go to the Royal Australian Mint’s new release section to view and order now. Price: AUD$60 (Australia) and AUD$54.55 (International).

Win The Best Seats In The House For NYE Fireworks

Minister For Roads, Duncan Gay, today encouraged New South Wales residents to enter the Roads & Maritime Services New Year’s Eve competition and try their luck winning tickets to celebrate the start of 2016 from one of Sydney’s best vantage points above Circular Quay.

“New Year’s Eve is only 65 days away so now is the perfect time to make plans for what is always a spectacular night on the Cahill Expressway by the Harbour” Mr Gay said.

“This is a hugely popular competition & we receive thousands of entries from across the state each year – so get in fast to make sure you don’t miss out.”

“Enter and have a chance to share a spectacular New Year’s Eve to remember with your family & friends” Mr Gay said.

Entrants go into the draw to win 1 of nearly 1700 family passes to watch either the 9pm Family or Midnight Fireworks displays.

Every winner receives a family pass of 5 tickets to share with family & friends.

The lucky winners will get the privilege to enjoy the fun & family-friendly atmosphere with a range of pre-fireworks entertainment.

Entries close at 11:59pm on Friday 27 November.

For your chance to win, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/NYE.

The Cahill Expressway is a specially designated family area & entry is by ticket only. Entries are restricted to 1 entry per household.

P&O Cruises Australia To Make History As Australian Stars Name Pacific Aria & Pacific Eden By Twitter

In a social media first, P&O Cruises Australia has revealed that its latest ships, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, will be officially named by singer Jessica Mauboy and actress Kate Ritchie – via Twitter.

Announcing the identity of the godmothers, P&O Cruises Australia said the popular Australian personalities would both tweet the official naming words in a spectacular dual christening ceremony on Fort Denison as the 2 ships sail either side of the Sydney Harbour landmark on November 25.

The social media launch will also see the naming posted simultaneously on the godmothers’ Facebook and Instagram accounts and shared by P&O Cruises Australia across its platforms.

Ann Sherry, CEO for Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises Australia, said the cruise line was thrilled that 2 famous Australians had agreed to name the cruise line’s latest ships.

“Both Jess and Kate are well known and well-loved around the country. They epitomise modern Australia and really embody the new look and feel of P&O Cruises Australia so we are delighted they will be naming these very special ships – and in such a modern way,” Ms Sherry said.

“It will be a history-making day – we will have 5 ships on Sydney Harbour, a dual christening and we’ll be officially naming the ships via Twitter, which we believe is a world first.”

The ships’ naming ceremony – which will see Jessica Mauboy name Pacific Aria and Kate Ritchie name Pacific Eden – will be a highlight of P&O’s history-making 5 Ship Spectacular on Sydney Harbour on November 25.

The day will begin with the cruise line’s 5-ship fleet creating a V formation off the heads of Sydney Harbour early in the morning, as they meet for the 1st time.

The ships will then enter the Harbour single file, with Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden following their 3 big sisters. As they reach the centre of the Harbour around 8:30am, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden will sail either side of Fort Denison, where their godmothers will name them and champagne bottles will be smashed on their bows.

The 5 ships will then berth in the Harbour, with 25 artists performing live concerts onboard for guests in the afternoon – including Jessica Mauboy on Pacific Aria. The ships will sail from Sydney in the evening following a spectacular fireworks display for Sydneysiders at 8:45pm.

Jessica Mauboy is an award-winning singer who grew up in Darwin in Australia’s north and shot to stardom in 2006 after appearing on the television show Australian Idol. Her debut 2008 album ‘Been Waiting’ scored double platinum sales and yielded 7 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Award nominations. She has since won 2 ARIA Awards and has been nominated again for this year’s ARIA Awards.

Kate Ritchie is one of Australia’s best loved actresses, having spent 20 years as a lead on Home & Away, a role which earned her 2 Gold and 3 Silver Logies. Kate currently co-hosts the Australian Commercial Radio Award-winning Nova’s Kate, Tim & Marty national drive show alongside Tim Blackwell and Marty Sheargold. Previously, she co-hosted the extremely popular breakfast radio show on Nova 96.9 with Merrick and Rosso throughout 2008 and 2009 & appeared on Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities. Kate has been the host and narrator of Don’t Tell The Bride, she has starred alongside Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart in the drama Mr & Mrs Murder and in Peter Helliar’s project, It’s A Date.

2 Australian charities will also be the beneficiaries of the event with P&O Cruises Australia making a financial contribution to charities nominated by the godmothers.

Jessica Mauboy has chosen the Indigenous Literacy Foundation as her charity for the event while Kate Ritchie is yet to announce her charity.

Regarded as game changers for the Australian cruise industry, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden will feature a fresh, contemporary design and a host of special features from multiple restaurants and a lush private dining room to a resort-style swimming pool deck, with sheer curtains and private cabanas.

Media Release: P&O Cruises Australia

Destination NSW Wins IFEA Pinnacle Awards For Vivid Sydney

Destination NSW has been awarded for its marketing & promotion of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas, receiving 7 accolades at the 2015 International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) Pinnacle Awards.

Destination NSW was presented with 7 IFEA Pinnacle Awards for Vivid Sydney:

• Grand Pinnacle – Silver
• Best Social Media Site – Gold
• Best Newspaper Insert/Supplement – Gold
• Best Event Promotional Photograph – Gold
• Best Event Website – Silver
• Best Outdoor Billboard – Silver
• Best Press/Media Kit – Silver

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism & Major Events, Stuart Ayres, congratulated Destination NSW & said the accolades reflect the exceptional work of the state’s tourism & major events agency in promoting Vivid Sydney to the world.

“Vivid Sydney is firmly established as 1 of the world’s leading festivals & continues to break records, attracting an incredible 1.7 million attendees this year.”

“Destination NSW has done a great job in turning the event into a global spectacle & these awards are well deserved” Mr Ayres said.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase, said “Vivid Sydney is a highlight of the New South Wales (NSW) Major Events Calendar, showcasing light, music & ideas all around our harbour city. These awards are a testament to the hard work of the Destination NSW team in creating, curating & promoting the event, with the support of the NSW Government & its agencies”

Presented by the IFEA, the Pinnacle Awards recognises the outstanding accomplishments & high quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals & events around the world.

Vivid Sydney is owned & managed by the NSW Government’s tourism & major events agency, Destination NSW.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

ABC To Broadcast Sydney NYE…Again.

Despite two controversial broadcasts in a row, the ABC has been awarded the TV broadcast rights for this year’s Sydney NYE event.

This, along with this year’s Sydney NYE theme, ‘City Of Colour’, was confirmed following the release of details of an ABC3 ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ Competition:

The ABC first broadcasted Sydney’s NYE celebrations in the 1970’s in 4-hour broadcasts but that was back when the event was more of a music concert. Fast forward to 2013 and the ABC surprisingly got the rights of the now high-profile event for the 2013 & 2014 events.

They took the ambitious step of returning the event to 4-hour broadcasts for the first time in nearly 30 years despite no time-consuming TV-quality scheduled Sydney Harbour entertainment in the 3 hour gap between 9pm and Midnight so ABC resorted to their own entertainment choices.

As an event watched by 1 billion people worldwide, it is a given that it rates well on TV so despite 2 years of ratings success, ABC’s entertainment choices for the night have not been so good and over time, did not improve but got worse. Immediately after both broadcasts, speculation on the next broadcast rights holder begun. Here is where they went wrong:


  • Offensive & insensitive comments
  • Rushed 9pm Family Fireworks countdown – have to be on time.
  • Hosts seemed to be influenced by alcohol
  • Long interviews
  • Dull quizzes with guests
  • Concerns that the broadcast was politicised


  • Constant repetition of the ‘ABC Budget Cut’ joke – once would have been enough
  • Concerns that the broadcast was politicised
  • Little but some coverage of the Acknowledgement Of Country ceremony (At least they showed some – Channel 9 ignored the ceremony completely between 2009 & 2012. Channel Ten & ABC showed it in full in 2008 & 2013)
  • No 9pm Family Fireworks countdown this time – who does not like the countdown?
  • The ‘Pub Quiz’ broadcast – an expansion of the guest quiz from the previous broadcast – great idea for a game show but not for NYE entertainment.
  • Long interviews
  • A 15-minute segment dedicated to the negatives of NYE
  • Bad camera work and technical issues (excluding the drone usage – that was something new remember)
  • And finally something that all media outlets missed, delayed footage of the 9pm Family Fireworks inserted into the live Midnight Fireworks.

Of course, the 2014 broadcast was summed up in it’s conclusion when host Julia Zemiro infamously said: “Oh, thank god” after the credits started rolling.

The broadcast isn’t shown internationally except the fireworks segments. In 2013, the post-10:30pm broadcast was shown to Asia & Oceania. Ironically, the Telstra YouTube broadcast of the event, which is shown internationally, was extremely well produced with continuously entertaining musical performances from high-profile artists, short interviews with those artists and YouTube personalities & more complete coverage of activities on Sydney Harbour. One downside of the YouTube broadcast though is that the official fireworks soundtrack is not broadcast due to copyright reasons.

Sydney NYE broadcasts are not new to controversy but 2 controversial broadcasts in a row was unprecedented. NYE1979 saw drunken crowd behaviour on live TV climaxing with The Angels’ frontman, Doc Neeson, being hit in the head and thus injured by a large object thrown by someone in the crowd. NYE2006 saw a Channel Ten broadcast which was clearly deemed ‘not family friendly’ and NYE2009 was more of a Channel 9 promo.

The TV rights went up for grabs again in April this year and instead of the usual tender process of the past 6 years, the City Of Sydney returned to sponsorship agreements (a practice they did between 1996 & 2008) and as we now know, ABC signed it. We understand it is a 1-year minimum contract.

Details and duration of the Sydney NYE2015 TV broadcast have not been revealed as yet but the 9pm Family Fireworks & the ABC3 ‘Design Your Own Firework‘ Competition winners have been confirmed as features of the broadcast. The Midnight Fireworks, whilst not confirmed, are all but guaranteed.

ABC is a professional television broadcaster and expectations of them are high. They can deliver but with the past 2 Sydney NYE broadcasts they have gotten it disastrously wrong. Hopefully when details are released, the program is different and entertaining even if it is 4 hours long. A 3rd chance is usually the limit – they have got to get it right or at least significantly improve.

ABC has been contacted for comment. No response was received.

Since the theme has been confirmed, our ‘Guess The Bridge Effect’ section has now opened up again. All that is left to be announced is the Creative Ambassador. With the theme ‘City Of Colour’, it could be a famous, bright & colourful Sydneysider. Can you guess who it will be? We’ll just have to wait & see.

Vivid Sydney On Show At International Event

Vivid Sydney is being celebrated as one of the world’s greatest contemporary arts festivals at this year’s Very Fun Park festival in Taiwan.

Presented by the Fubon Art Foundation, Very Fun Park is held in Tapei each year and promotes a museum without walls approach to art. In the festival’s 10th anniversary year, Vivid Sydney is one of ten international festivals with a similar artistic ethos being showcased.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said he was delighted Vivid Sydney is being showcased at this international event.

“Vivid Sydney is firmly established as one of the world’s most renowned festivals and its’ involvement in Very Fun Park reinforces our state’s reputation as the creative industries capital on a global stage” Mr Ayres said.

Vibrant images of the spectacular artworks that transform Sydney into an outdoor gallery of extraordinary lighting projections and sculptures during Vivid Sydney each winter will be on show.

Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, attracting a record 1.7 million attendees in 2015. Owned and managed by the New South Wales Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the festival is now Australia’s largest event, welcoming visitors from across the globe.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase, said Vivid Sydney’s inclusion in Very Fun Park will give audiences a taste of the festival and encourage people to visit Vivid Sydney in future years, to experience the event for themselves.

“We’re delighted to showcase our spectacular Vivid Sydney festival at Very Fun Park and thank the Fubon Art Foundation for their invitation. There’s nothing like seeing Vivid Sydney transform our harbour city with its colourful creativity and I encourage everyone to join us in Sydney next year when the festival returns from 27 May to 13 June 2016” Ms Chipchase said.

The Vivid Sydney showcase is located in the Songshan Cultural And Creative Park, Taiwan Design Museum – Golden Pin Design Area, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:30am and 5:30pm until 20 September 2015.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney Wins International Award

Vivid Sydney has been recognised as a world leading event, taking out one of the top honours at the 2015 Pacific Asia Travel Association Grand and Gold Awards.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said Vivid Sydney won the Gold Award in the Marketing – State Government Destination category, recognising state or city tourism organisations.

“This is great news for New South Wales (NSW) and this win highlights how important the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas is for our great state,” Mr Ayres said.

“The win reinforces the professionalism of Destination NSW’s marketing promotional activities and the success of how they work with partners to develop travel packages and other activities to increase awareness of and visitation to Vivid Sydney.”

“The popularity of Vivid Sydney continues to increase with 1.7 million people visiting the festival this year on the back of this campaign. This included the sale of over 26,000 international Vivid Sydney travel packages with more than 11,000 packages sold to China.”

The Pacific Asia Travel Association Awards recognise exceptional achievement in a range of activities in the Asia-Pacific travel industry. There were 269 entries from 83 travel and tourism organisations and individuals across the world in this year’s awards.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase, said Vivid Sydney continues to receive international recognition.

“Vivid Sydney is a huge cross city collaboration of private enterprise and government agencies. It is testament to the great teamwork and innovation at Destination NSW channelled through our overseas offices and our marketing, communications, industry partnerships and event development divisions that our work has been internationally recognised,” Ms Chipchase said.

Vivid Sydney was awarded Best Tourism Event in both 2014 and 2013 at the Australian Event Awards, the prestigious national awards for the Australian events industry.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Sydney’s Big Event Puts Charity In The Spotlight

The City of Sydney will partner with a major charity for its’ biggest 2015/2016 event to raise awareness and funds for work to reduce housing poverty.

The official charity partner is: Habitat for Humanity Australia (Sydney New Year’s Eve 2015)

The partnership will provide the charity with a range of opportunities to promote their cause through activities such as media broadcasts, merchandise sales, donation collections, social media, and entertainment at the event.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City’s affiliation with the charity would encourage the huge number of visitors to the event to reflect on the broader needs of the community while enjoying the celebrations.

“The City hosts some of Australia’s most successful events, and we want to make the most of the enormous publicity they create to let people know about the incredible work of our charity partners,” the Lord Mayor said.

“More than 1.6 million people attend this event and almost a billion people are reached through the media, providing a great opportunity to remind everyone about this worthy cause.”

“The City strongly supports the work of Habitat for Humanity Australia and we’re very proud to join forces with them for our biggest event over the next 6 months.”

One of the world’s leading providers of safe and affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity, will partner with the City for its’ Sydney New Year’s Eve celebration. The partnership will provide the charity with a platform to engage Sydneysiders to take action combating housing poverty across the Asia-Pacific region.

For the last 11 years, Sydney New Year’s Eve has supported 8 charities and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a variety of causes.

These include organisations dedicated to helping alleviate poverty, treating and preventing blindness, environmental conservation and humanitarian engineering.

Media Release: City Of Sydney

One Week To Go Until Lights Off


With just one week to go until lights off at midnight Monday June 8th, visitors are being encouraged to visit Vivid Sydney early in the week and ahead of the final weekend.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said: “With only eight nights to go of Vivid Sydney, people who haven’t yet experienced the festival or want to come back for another look should plan their visit early this week.”

“Weeknights are a great time to take in the Vivid Light Walk not only around Circular Quay and The Rocks, but also into Walsh Bay and Martin Place and our newest precincts at Central Park and Chatswood.”

“If you haven’t caught the sensational Vivid Laser-Fountain Water Theatre at Darling Harbour there are shows every half an hour, with special fireworks shows at 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday.”

“With road closures in place during Vivid, visitors should leave the car at home and catch public transport,” he said.

An additional 3,500 public transport services have been provided throughout the festival. Visit www.vividsydney.com for more information.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney