Great news for the cruise community in Australasia, with P&O announcing the addition of two new ships to their Australian fleet.
After transferring to P&O from Holland America next year, the new ships will commence cruising in the South Pacific from November 2015. This increases their total number from three to five, making P&O the largest year-round fleet in Australia.
The two vessels are currently sailing as MS Ryndam and MS Statendam, in Europe and Alaska respectively. They will undergo an extensive makeover, with special features and attractions, including the only celebrity chef restaurant at sea: Salt grill by Luke Mangan. And loyal P&O Australia passengers shouldn't be worried, all the traditional features and décor will also be of paramount importance. A new Pinnacle Class ship will be added to the Holland America Line fleet in 2016.
Facts and figures:
- It's four years since P&O Cruises launched their last ship in Australian waters.
- More than 800,000 Australians cruised last year.
- The Carnival Group will have 12 ships home-ported in Australia.
- Short-break cruises are likely to be a focus, along with destinations such as Papua New Guinea and Asia.
CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, Ann Sherry, is confident the move will be a success.
"This is a very exciting development for the Carnival Group, the P&O brand set the foundation for the resurgence of cruising in this region, making it the most successful sector of Australian tourism. Adding two more ships to the fleet is a signal that the next generation of P&O Cruises is about to commence."
"It will also accelerate progress in reaching the industry goal of a million passengers a year by 2016, four years earlier than forecast."
The existing P&O Australia line-up consists of the Pacific Pearl, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Jewel and is a beloved institution in the cruise market of the South Pacific. The only fleet which cruises exclusively in this part of the world, they offer a family-friendly holiday experience, tailored to the relaxed and casual New Zealand and Australian outlook on life.
Current P&O Cruise Ships
- Pacific Dawn: Australia's first superliner in 2007
- Pacific Jewel: hits the ocean wave in 2009
- Pacific Pearl: open for business in 2010.
Fitted with Australian powerpoints and with Australian dollars used on-board, the ships make it easy to cruise from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland and Fremantle, without having to take on foreign customs and currency.
The fleet expansion follows a trend of more commitment by numerous lines to the South Pacific region, and not without good reason. Australian and Kiwi cruisers are growing in numbers every year, and it has been recognised as the world's fastest growing cruise market.
The various itineraries, home ports and ship features of the new P&O arrivals will be announced over the coming months.