P&O's Pacific Pearl has set sail following a record season in New Zealand.

To mark her return to Australia, Pacific Pearl's four-day cruise will feature a number of friendly Aussies versus Kiwis battles - including a jandal throwing contest, touch rugby and a Marmite versus Vegemite back-off.

Guests will also attempt to take the largest selfie at sea and a "Crossing the Line" ceremony will mark the ships passage into Australian waters.

Pacific Pearl's five-month deployment in Auckland has been the biggest season for P&O, carrying 34,000 guests on 20 cruises.

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"There's no question that our increased presence in New Zealand this year has helped build Kiwis' appetite for cruising so we look forward to another big year in local waters in 2017," said P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell.

Pacific Pearl returns for its final two-month season in February next year, while the larger Pacific Jewel starts its second New Zealand season from September until October 2017.

- nzherald.co.nz