With the dawn of the new year, reports have emerged of a groundbreaking new development in the Australian cruising scene: P&O Cruises Australia will be making history by becoming the first cruise line to build a new ship specifically for the Australian market. The exciting news doesn't end there- this vessel will be the biggest cruise ship ever to be based fulltime in Australia with a guest capacity that exceeds 4200. This is more than double the capacity of the largest cruise ship currently homeporting year round in Australia.
The ship will be specially designed with modern Aussie cruisers in mind and is set to offer itineraries ranging from 3 to 10 days duration. Ann Sherry, the Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia (P&O Australia's parent company) said that the introduction of the new vessel is great news for one of the fastest growing cruise regions on earth. "The much anticipated first newbuild cruise ship is a huge vote of confidence in the Australian cruise market with much of the 20 per cent year-on-year passenger growth over the past decade driven by P&O Cruises' dynamic industry leadership."
P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said the new ship was another step in P&O Cruises' growth, with the recent addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden to its three-ship fleet to be followed in 2017 with the addition of Pacific Explorer. "P&O Cruises is the modern face of Australian cruising and, with such a proud heritage of leadership, it is a natural step to announce that the line will take delivery of its first newbuild ship."
The introduction of the newbuild ship represents an historic landmark for the Australian cruise industry but it's far from the first time that P&O Cruises Australia has been ahead of the cruising curve. P&O Strathaird pioneered Aussie cruising all the way back in 1932 with the first South Pacific cruise out of Australia, and the line has continued to operate at the cutting edge to this day. From the introduction of the Pacific Dawn in 2007, the first superliner to be based year round in Australia, to the line's recent milestone of four million cruise passengers since the resumption of post war cruising, P&O Cruises Australia is constantly pushing the envelope of what's possible in the world of cruising.
Details on the features of the new ship have yet to be released but Sture Myrmell has assured cruise fans that the vessel will continue the evolution of the P&O Cruises brand and will reflect the tastes of the modern Australian cruiser.
The new vessel will be launched in 2019, which sounds like a long way off now but just take a moment to think back on how quickly 2015 passed and you'll soon realise that P&O Cruises' brand new ship will be arriving before you know it.
What features would you be most excited to see on P&O Cruises' new ship? What kind of itineraries would you like explore on this vessel? Let us know what you expect from this groundbreaking ship in the comments below!