P&O Cruises Australia announced today a second Grand Class ship will join the family while bidding farewell to one of its “jewels” as part of the cruise line’s commitment to refresh the fleet over time.
Carrying more than 3,100 guests, Star Princess will join her sister ship, Golden Princess, in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet from the end of 2021. Star Princess will replace the much-loved and considerably smaller Pacific Jewel, which will leave P&O Cruises in March next year, by which time she will have served the brand for almost 10 years.
President of P&O Cruises and Carnival Australia, Sture Myrmell, said welcoming two Grand Class ships – Star Princess and Golden Princess – was part of the evolution of the P&O Cruises fleet.
In September last year, P&O Cruises announced its plan to refresh its fleet over time, continuing to evolve the guest experience and creating economies of scale necessary to compete effectively in today’s environment.
“Pacific Jewel has been a jewel by name and by nature. I feel sentimental farewelling a much-loved ship but excited for the future because the addition of two bigger ships is a game-changer for P&O Cruises and its guests,” Mr Myrmell said.
“P&O Cruises is all about offering a great value cruise holiday that celebrates modern Australia across food, entertainment, activities and service delivered in a contemporary setting. We are ensuring P&O Cruises has the right ships for a contemporary brand operating in a competitive market.”
Mr Myrmell said P&O Cruises would continue to base ships year-round in its key homeports of Sydney and Brisbane as well as offering seasonal sailings from other Australian states and New Zealand.
A transformed Golden Princess will join the P&O Cruises fleet in October 2020 while her sister ship, Star Princess, will join P&O Cruises at the end of 2021.
Pacific Jewel’s final voyage will depart from Melbourne on 24 February, 2019 before being transferred to a new operator following her sale.
P&O Cruises will assist guests affected by deployment changes to make alternative arrangements, including their choice of:
- Rebooking on equivalent or near equivalent cruises on other P&O Cruises’ ships
- Offering a choice of alternative cruises on other ships in the P&O Cruises’ fleet where a near equivalent match is not possible
- Providing a full refund to guests for whom no alternative cruise choice is suitable (any guest whose cruise is cancelled can choose to obtain a full refund).
P&O Cruises will contact all guests over the coming weeks to provide further information on alternative options.
“We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause some guests and will work hard to find alternatives for those whose holiday plans are affected. We also thank guests for their patience because it is likely to take some weeks to put everything in place but we hope this good news will be well received by our loyal guests,” Mr Myrmell said.
What happens now?
- Pacific Jewel's final cruise will be on 24 February 2019 (MEL - SIN). Cruises from J911 onwards have been cancelled.
- Pacific Aria takes up the reins as New Zealand's cruise ship, sailing from Auckland from April 2019 through to July 2019. Aria’s Auckland season for 2019 will open for bookings in the near future.
- Pacific Aria will return to Brisbane from August 2019. Pacific Aria's published Oct 2019 - Jan 2020 Sydney season has been cancelled.
- Pacific Dawn will be servicing Pacific Aria's 10 night PNG cruise (A923) originally due to depart 21 May 2019. New departure date for this cruise is 25 May 2019 (W927N).
- Pacific Dawn will be servicing Pacific Aria's 14 night Bounty Adventure cruise (A926) originally due to depart 14 Jun 2019. New departure date for this cruise is 15 June 2019 (W931N).
- Guests booked on selected impacted cruises have the option of rebooking an equivalent or near equivalent cruise on another P&O ship or receiving a full refund, if no alternative cruises are suitable. If your clients are booked on any impacted Pacific Jewel, Pacific Aria, and Pacific Dawn cruises you will receive an email from our Customer Services team with detailed information on the options for your clients.
Dedicated telephone and email channels have been established for guests who have questions related to an affected cruise:
- Australia Phone line: 1300 550 491
- New Zealand Phone line: 0800 543 177
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
In summary, key dates for P&O Cruises include:
- Pacific Jewel leaves the P&O Cruises fleet in March, 2019
- Pacific Eden leaves the P&O Cruises fleet in April, 2019
- A transformed and re-named Golden Princess will join the P&O Cruises family in October, 2020
- A transformed and re-named Star Princess joins the P&O Cruises fleet end of 2021
Read more about Pacific Eden here >
Read more about Pacific Jewel here >