P&O Cruises Australia today announced the next stage of its fleet transformation with both Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter arriving in the first half of 2021 in a mark of confidence in the expected rebound of the local cruise industry.
The much-anticipated Pacific Adventure is planned to begin sailing from Sydney on April 30 next year and the delivery of Pacific Encounter is being brought forward by at least six months to ensure the local fleet is poised to drive the resurgence of cruising at the right time.
Pacific Encounter is scheduled to call Brisbane home from May 7, 2021 – but additional voyages may be added even earlier, depending on the timing of the return of cruising in Australia.
The sister ships will sail alongside P&O’s current flagship, Pacific Explorer, which will extend its operational pause until January next year.
“The arrival of these much-anticipated ships, Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter, in the first half of next year represents a step-change for the fleet and a sign of confidence in the market,” P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said.
“This investment in our fleet is a demonstration that P&O Cruises Australia is ready to lead the industry in bouncing back when government and public health authorities agree it is appropriate to begin sailing again with protocols in place.
“It is also a mark of respect for our many loyal guests as well as crew, fresh food suppliers, entertainers and musicians, shore tour operators and port logistics partners who are looking to be a part of the resurgence of the Australian cruise sector over time.”
Mr Myrmell said both Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter will offer something for everyone from a range of inclusive dining options, speciality restaurants by renowned chefs Luke Mangan and Johnny Di Francesco as well as family-friendly activities and vibrant night-time venues brought to life by some of Australia’s leading comedians, musicians and our own talented entertainment staff.
In recent weeks, P&O Cruises Australia announced the early departure of much-loved favourites Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria. It had previously been announced the ships would leave as part of a fleet transformation.
“These have been challenging times for the entire community and, for our part, we have sought to use this operational pause to fast-track our planned fleet refresh. Our pathway to a return to cruising may be unclear but we wanted to give our guests confidence about our future fleet and our commitment to Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Myrmell said.
Key elements of today’s announcement include:
- Pacific Adventure will call Sydney home. Her first voyage is a three-night Short Break scheduled for April 30, 2021. Pacific Adventure was originally planned to debut in November this year but was delayed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
- Brisbane’s new international cruise terminal will become the new home port for Pacific Encounter. At this stage, her first voyage is scheduled to depart Brisbane on May 7, 2021 and is a three-night Short Break. Additional voyages may be added earlier.
- Pacific Explorer is planned to be homeporting from Auckland, New Zealand from February 6, 2021 to her last voyage on April 25, 2021.
- Extending the pause for Pacific Explorer until the end of the year, covering her Christmas and New Year cruises from Brisbane, to give certainty for guests over this important holiday period. Pacific Explorer’s first cruise is now scheduled for January 9, 2021.