P&O Cruises Australia

P&O Cruises Australia is a British-American owned cruise line with corporate headquarters at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operational headquarters in Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia. The sister company of P&O Cruises in the United Kingdom, it was previously a constituent of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company and has a direct link in history to the world's first cruise ships. As such, it is one of the oldest cruise lines in the world, and now forms part of the Carnival Corporation & plc, under the executive control of Holland America Line. It currently operates three ships, sailing from various ports in Australia and New Zealand.

P&O Cruises Australia
HeadquartersSydney, Australia
Area served
Australia & New Zealand
ParentCarnival Corporation & plc
Footnotes / references

P&O House Flag



P&O Cruises Australia originates from the passenger division of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, a UK shipping company which operated the world's first passenger ships in the early 19th century. P&O subsequently became the first company to operate passenger routes to Australia, with the first of these voyages occurring in 1932.[1] These passenger voyages evolved into cruise holidays that helped P&O adopt its brand name into P&O Cruises, with the Australian service eventually adopting the name of P&O Cruises Australia.


In 2000, after various changes in the organisation of the P&O Group, the company de-merged all of its cruise ship operations.[2] A new company, P&O Princess Cruises, was created, which was independent of P&O and consisted of P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, AIDA Cruises and later, A'Rosa Cruises and Ocean Village. In April 2003, P&O Princess Cruises merged with Carnival Corporation to form Carnival Corporation & plc,[3] the world's largest cruise company, with a portfolio of eleven cruise lines, including P&O Cruises Australia.

In October 2009, P&O offered assistance to the Red Cross in relief efforts for earthquake and tsunami victims in the South Pacific by donating 740 pillows with the promise of mattresses, more pillows and hundreds of light bulbs to be given a later date.[4]

Fleet timeline

Since its inception, P&O Cruises Australia has not received any newbuild vessels to supply its fleet and has since used ships transferred from its sister brands. The cruise line has periodically cycled out older vessels that are replaced by newer and larger vessels transferred into the fleet.

Fleet entrants

In 2001, Princess Cruises' Sky Princess was redeployed to Australia to become Pacific Sky, the first ship in the fleet.[5] In 2004, Pacific Sun joined the fleet, and was quickly followed by Pacific Star in 2005. In October 2007, the oldest ship of Princess Cruises' fleet, Regal Princess, was transferred to P&O, and after one month of refurbishment, entered service as Pacific Dawn.[6]

On 30 October 2008, Carnival Corporation announced the closure of their United Kingdom-based Ocean Village brand.[7] Coinciding with this closure, both Ocean Village ships were transferred to the fleet of P&O. Ocean Village Two joined the fleet in December 2009 as Pacific Jewel.[7] Ocean Village followed in late 2010 as Pacific Pearl.[8] With this development, P&O doubled its fleet to four ships, the biggest investment made by a company operating within the Australian cruise industry thus far.[9]

In May 2014, Carnival Corporation announced that sister brand, Holland America Line, would transfer Statendam and Ryndam into the P&O fleet in 2015 after being refurbished to tailor them for Australian and New Zealand passengers.[10] The names for the two ships were revealed in July 2014 as Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria.[11]

In March 2015, Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri made an agreement for five ships to be delivered between 2019 and 2022.[12] On 30 December 2015, Carnival Corporation established that, from the agreement, the planned 4,200-passenger ship ordered would be delivered to P&O, making her the first newbuild for P&O and the largest ship to be operated by an Australian cruise company.[13] But on 15 December 2016, Carnival Corporation announced that P&O's sister brand, Carnival Cruise Line, would receive a third Vista-class vessel, meaning the original order for P&O was transferred over to Carnival Cruise Line.[14] Instead, Carnival Splendor was scheduled to be transferred to P&O in late 2019 to compensate for the lost order.[15] However, in September 2017, with the news announced of Golden Princess moving to P&O, Carnival Splendor was no longer scheduled to move to P&O.[16]

In October 2015 it was announced that the Dawn Princess would transfer from the Princess Cruises fleet to the P&O fleet.[17] She was renamed Pacific Explorer upon her debut in June 2017.[18]

In September 2017, P&O announced that Princess Cruises would transfer Grand-class ship, Golden Princess, into the fleet in 2020 to replace Pacific Eden as it exits in April 2019.[16][19] In September 2018, her new name was announced as Pacific Adventure, a name chosen by six P&O Cruises Australia fans on its Facebook page.[20][21] She will also have an increase in passenger capacity by 500 to 3,100, and be homeported in Sydney.[20][21][22]

In August 2018, it was announced that Princess was scheduled to transfer a second Grand-class vessel, Star Princess, into the P&O fleet in late-2021 to replace Pacific Jewel as it exits in March 2019.[23] On 25 November 2019, her name upon her debut for P&O was announced as Pacific Encounter.[24]

Fleet disposals

In 2006, Pacific Sky was sold to Pullmantur Cruises and became Sky Wonder.[25] On 30 May 2007, Pacific Star was also sold to Pullmantur Cruises.[26] She underwent refurbishment in Singapore and began sailing as Ocean Dream from 11 May 2008.

In December 2011, P&O announced Pacific Sun would make its last journey for the company on 1 July 2012 and leave the fleet shortly thereafter.[27] She was sold to HNA Group's HNA Cruises to become Henna and began operating under its new name on 26 January 2013.[28]

In March 2016, P&O announced that Pacific Pearl would leave the fleet in March 2017.[29] She joined Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) and was renamed Columbus, debuting on 9 June 2017.[30]

In March 2018, P&O announced Pacific Eden would leave the fleet in April 2019. She joined CMV and was renamed Vasco da Gama, debuting on 22 April 2019.[31]

On 22 August 2018, P&O announced Pacific Jewel would leave the fleet in March 2019 after ten years with the cruise line, with its final voyage on 24 February 2019. She was sold to new Indian cruise company, Jalesh Cruises, and became Karnika in April 2019.[32][33]

On 25 November 2019, P&O announced the exits of Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria for February 2021 and April 2021, respectively.[34][24] Following their exits and the new ships' debuts, P&O's fleet of three ships will total a guest capacity of approximately 9,000 guests.[34][24] On 28 November 2019, CMV announced that they had purchased both Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria, with Pacific Dawn scheduled to enter the fleet on 2 March 2021 for the UK market, and Pacific Aria scheduled to enter the fleet of CMV subsidiary, Transocean Tours, on 2 May 2021, for the German market.[35]


Current fleet

ShipBuiltBuilderEntered service
for P&O Australia
Gross TonnageFlagNotesImage
Pacific Dawn1991Fincantieri200770,285 United KingdomPreviously Regal Princess.

Sold to CMV and exiting fleet in February 2021.[24]

Pacific Aria1994Fincantieri201555,451 United KingdomPreviously Ryndam.

Sold to CMV and exiting fleet in April 2021.[24]

Pacific Explorer1997Fincantieri201777,499 United KingdomPreviously Dawn Princess.

Future fleet

ShipBuiltBuilderEnters service
for P&O Australia
Gross TonnageFlagNotesImage
Pacific Adventure2001Fincantieri2020108,865 United KingdomCurrently sailing as Golden Princess for Princess Cruises.[36][37]
Pacific Encounter 2002Fincantieri2021108,977 BermudaCurrently sailing as Star Princess for Princess Cruises.[23]

Former fleet

ShipBuiltBuilderIn service
for P&O Australia
Gross TonnageFlagNotesImage
Pacific Sky1984La Seyne-Sur Mer2000–200646,087 United KingdomPreviously FairSky, Sky Princess, Pacific Sky, Sky Wonder, Atlantic Star, and Antic. Scrapped in 2013.[25]
Pacific Sun1986Kockums Varv2004–201247,262 MaltaPreviously Jubilee, Pacific Sun, and Henna. Scrapped in 2017.[38]
Pacific Star1982Aalborg Shipyard2005–200835,109 United KingdomPreviously Tropicale, Costa Tropicale, Pacific Star, Ocean Dream. Currently sailing for Peace Boat as Ocean Dream.[39]
Pacific Pearl1989Chantiers de l'Atlantique2010–201763,500 United KingdomPreviously Star Princess, Arcadia, Ocean Village, and Pacific Pearl. Currently sailing for Cruise & Maritime Voyages as Columbus.[30]
Pacific Jewel 1990 Fincantieri 2009-2019 69,845  United Kingdom Previously Crown Princess, A'Rosa Blu, AIDAblu and Ocean Village Two. Currently sailing for Jalesh Cruises as Karnika.[33]
Pacific Eden1992Fincantieri2015-201955,819 United KingdomPreviously Statendam. Currently sailing for Cruise & Maritime Voyages as Vasco da Gama.[40]


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  13. "News Release - Carnival Corporation - Carnival Corporation to Build Four Cruise Ships as Part of Memo of Agreement with Fincantieri S.p.A." www.carnivalcorp.com.
  14. Line, Carnival Cruise. "New 133,500-Ton Vista Class Ship To Join Carnival Cruise Line Fleet In 2019". www.prnewswire.com.
  15. Thakkar, Emrys (15 December 2016). "Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship Transferring To P&O Australia Fleet". Cruise Hive.
  16. Mathisen, Monty (27 September 2017). "Golden Princess to Transfer to P&O Australia, Splendor Staying with Carnival". www.cruiseindustrynews.com.
  18. Ironside, Robyn (7 July 2016). "Surprising feature of P&O's newest cruise ship, the Pacific Explorer". news.com.au.
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  28. Covey, Claudette (28 August 2013). "China's First Luxury Cruise Ship Henna Makes Maiden Voyage". TravelPulse.
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  32. "Pacific Jewel to Leave P&O Cruises, Replaced with Star Princess". www.cruisecritic.com. 22 August 2018.
  33. Mathisen, Monty (3 December 2018). "Jalesh Cruises Introduces New Brand to India". www.cruiseindustrynews.com.
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  38. "HNA cruiseship Henna on last trip to breakers' yard | TradeWinds". TradeWinds | Latest shipping and maritime news. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  39. "Peace boat arrives in Fremantle". Fremantle Ports. 24 January 2018.
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