P&O Cruises to sail into the sunset following major shake up

Jun 04, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

After nearly a century at sea, P&O Cruises Australia will halt operations from March 2025, as announced by parent company Carnival Cruise Line.

The decision to integrate the brand into Carnival’s operations was revealed on Tuesday, June 4, by Carnival Cruise Line’s Chief Executive Officer, Josh Weinstein, who cited cost-saving measures as the driving force behind the move.

“P&O Cruises Australia is a storied brand with an amazing team, and we are extremely proud of everything we have accomplished together in Australia and the broader region,” Weinstein said.

“However, given the strategic reality of the South Pacific’s small population and significantly higher operating and regulatory costs, we’re adjusting our approach to give us the efficiencies we need to continue delivering an incredible cruise experience year-round to our guests in the region.

“Carnival Corporation & plc remains committed to Australia and we will continue to be the largest cruise operator in the region with 19 ships calling on 78 destinations and representing almost 60% of the market.”

As part of the transition, the Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure ships will undergo rebranding and be managed under the Carnival Cruise Line banner, while the Pacific Explorer will depart the fleet by February 2025.

From 2025, Carnival Cruise Line will boast four ships in the market, featuring the Sydney-based Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa sailing seasonally from Brisbane, alongside the newly acquired sister ships, Encounter and Adventure.

President of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy offered a further glimpse into the forthcoming changes that will accompany the integration of P&O Cruises Australia into Carnival.

“We look forward to building on the history and heritage of P&O Cruises Australia by bringing some of our innovations to more cruise guests in the region,” Duffy said.

“While we plan to make some technology upgrades and other small changes to the two P&O Cruises Australia ships, they will continue to be geared to the unique Australian market with a familiar feel and much of the same experiences for P&O Cruises Australia guests.

“The most notable change will be the availability of our popular HubApp, enabling guests to make online dining and excursion reservations, request food and beverage delivery, and chat with other guests, among other features. P&O Cruises Australia guests will also be invited to participate in Carnival’s loyalty program and promotional offerings specific to Carnival ships sailing in the region.”

Carnival explained that existing itineraries will continue as normal and guests will be notified in the coming days of any changes to future bookings as a result of this announcement.

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