(1:30 a.m. AEST) -- Queensland couple Jessica and Marty Ansen have set sail on a series of more than 50 back-to-back cruises that will see them at sea for more than two years.
The die-hard cruise fans from Brisbane were welcomed aboard Princess Cruises' Coral Princess, which was the first cruise ship homeported at the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal to resume service following the restart of the Australian cruise industry.
Their epic sailing totalling 795 sea days -- and including two round world cruises -- will be added to their log of 31 previous cruises with Princess covering 1,173 days at sea. The voyage will feature several new itineraries, including crossing the Coral Sea to the remote Conflict Islands in Papua New Guinea, as well as repeat sailings on short getaway cruises from Brisbane and Sydney, and Queensland round-trip itineraries from Brisbane.
"Cruising offers the ultimate holiday experience," the couple said. "You go onboard, you only unpack once, and you have all this amazing entertainment, exceptional food, great company and you can see the world. And, the crew deliver incredible service -- that's why we cruise."
Adding up to 53 separate cruises between now and August 2024, the couple's travel agent, Martine Hero, from Brisbane-based Clean Cruising, said the Ansens were passionate cruisers and like many other cruise fans were keen to get back on the water following the pandemic.
She said: "For the last two years Marty frequently mentioned all he and Jessica wanted to do was to go cruising again. Since the announcement of the resumption of cruising we have had an influx of interest and bookings including those of the Ansens. This extended trip has been in the works for a long time, as have those of many other cruisers."
Princess Cruises' Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, UK and Europe, Stuart Allison, said he was delighted to welcome the Ansens aboard Coral Princess to cruise again.
Although Jessica and Marty now have hundreds of sea days ahead of them, as they set off from Brisbane they said they hadn't ruled out adding more voyages to keep their life at sea sailing into the future.