Latest Global Cruise Market Review Prompts Decision to Add 3000-Guest Ship to P&O Cruises Australia Fleet In 2019

Thursday, December 15, 2016

P&O Cruises Australia’s fleet will be bolstered with the addition of a 3000-guest ship in 2019 to maintain the cruise line’s momentum in our growing market, effectively doubling P&O’s capacity over a period of just four years.

A decision being announced today to move Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Splendor to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet is designed to maintain the pace of P&O’s growth momentum and follows a global market review.

P&O Cruises Australia is the region’s largest and longest-serving cruise operator, and leads the way in cruising as the only home grown brand.

“We benefit from being part of a global organisation with a worldwide fleet of cruise ships that ensure we have the flexibility to make the most of opportunities in our region and to adjust our strategies accordingly,” P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said.

“Having reviewed the market, we believe a 3000-passenger ship is the right sized ship for the P&O fleet to drive further sustained growth in our market.”

P&O will now defer previously announced plans for a new build ship which was scheduled for delivery in 2019.  The new build will instead join Carnival Cruise Line to make the most of projected growth in the North American market.

Mr Myrmell said the 113,000-tonne Carnival Splendor, which is 50 per cent bigger than P&O’s largest ship, will make its mark as the local fleet’s biggest ship.

“Welcoming a transformed and re-named Carnival Splendor to the P&O Cruises’ fleet in 2019 on the back of the addition of Pacific Explorer in mid 2017 cements our position as Australia’s leading cruise line and the only true home grown Australian brand,” Mr Myrmell said.

“In four years P&O Cruises will have doubled capacity by welcoming four ships – Pacific Aria, Pacific Eden and Pacific Explorer as well as the additional ship in 2019 – as part of the remarkable evolution of the brand.

“As the Australian and New Zealand markets develop, we want to make certain that P&O Cruises is front-and-centre to capture growth with the addition of the biggest ship yet.”

The ship has some fantastic features that are well suited to the Australian and New Zealand market and year round cruising in the region.

“The ship is already suited to year round cruising with features that support P&O’s contemporary style of cruising.  Before joining the fleet, she will be refurbished to reflect the P&O look-and-feel and build in the experiences core to our offering,” Mr Myrmell said.

While P&O’s desire to grow its position in an increasingly competitive market was the core reason for the change in plans, Mr Myrmell said other longer term factors couldn't be ignored in the recent market review.

“It is increasingly apparent that the improvement of cruise ship infrastructure in Australia and across the Pacific is not moving as fast as we had hoped to support a ship the size of the new build we had intended for the fleet in 2019,” he said. “We also look forward to greater certainty around costs, berth availability and infrastructure.”

Carnival Splendor will join the P&O fleet at the end of 2019.  More details regarding the ship’s transfer, features and itineraries will be announced at a later date.

Media contact:
Sandy Olsen or David Jones
Carnival Australia
+61 2 8424 8861