P&O Cruises Australia has announced the next stage of its fleet transformation, with both Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter to arrive in the first half of 2021.
The much-anticipated Pacific Adventure is planned to begin sailing from Sydney on 30 April, and the delivery of Pacific Encounter is being brought forward by at least six months.
Pacific Encounter is scheduled to call Brisbane home from 7 May, but P&O said 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.
P&O Cruises Australia president Sture Myrmell said the impending arrival of both ships represents a step-change for the cruise line’s fleet and a sign of confidence in the market.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Myrmell said both Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter will offer something for everyone, including 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 P&O’s own talented entertainment staff.
This latest announcement by P&O comes not long after the cruise line announced the early departure of Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria. It had previously been announced that 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,” Myrmell said.
“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.”