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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (Oceania Flash, Dec. 11)) - The recent introduction to New Caledonia of the P&0 luxury liner "Pacific Princess," has started to boost the French territory's tourism arrival statistics.

According to daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes, the Pacific Princess, which cruises from Sydney into the South Pacific, made her maiden call to Nouméa last month.

Local custom authorities say their latest statistics for November are beginning to show the impact of the Sydney-based liner, which comes in addition to the existing P&O liner, the "Pacific Sky".

Total arrivals by boat have reached 5,442 for November, including 4,491 for the Pacific Sky (three calls in November) and 637 for the new Pacific Princess (for her maiden trip).

Another luxury liner, the Seabourne Sun, also brought 531 passengers last month.

Statistics for last year show that in 2001, the monthly average number of visitors by boat was only 4,368, a figure that is expected to increase this year.

On the cruise market, visitors mainly come from Australia, followed by New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The same ports and marine department also states that during the month of November 51 private yachts, including 34 foreign ones and 17 French registered, have visited the port of Nouméa.

Oceania Flash/SPC E-mail/Courriel : PatrickD@spc.org.fj ou padec@iname.com 

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