Carnival scraps the P&O brand after 90 years of cruising from Australia

Adelaide, Australia - March 5, 2015: P&O Pacific Jewel cruise ship is docked at Port Adelaide to pick up passengers, Outer Harbour, South Australia
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Carnival is scrapping the much-loved P&O brand after 90 years of cruising from Australia.

    The P&O brand will shut down in March next year due to high “operating and regulatory costs”, parent company Carnival Corporation said.

    Pacific Explorer will be retired in February and Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure will operate as Carnival Cruise Line.

    The rebranded ships will join Carnival Splendor, which sails year-round from Sydney and Carnival Luminosa that homeports in Brisbane during cruise season.

    “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 chief executive Josh Weinstein said.

    “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 per cent of the market.”

    Current itineraries will operate as normal but passengers would be notified should any changes occur to future bookings.

    “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,” Carnival Cruise Line president Christine 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.”

    Carnival said it will invite P&O customers to join its loyalty program.

    “Over the coming months, we will find ways to celebrate and honour P&O Cruises Australia – a valued part of our legacy and an important contributor to the tourism industry in the South Pacific,” Weinstein said.

    “We value the connection our P&O Cruises Australia guests, employees, travel advisor partners, public officials and destinations have with our company and are committed to building on this association moving forward as Carnival.”

    The move follows Cunard ceasing to homeport in Melbourne and Virgin Voyages pulling out of Australia after just one season.

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