The sale of P&O’s Pacific Aria has been brought forward by six months, as Pacific Dawn resurfaces as a ‘crypto cruise ship’.
Pacific Aria is the latest to go as part of the P&O’s fleet transformation which has been brought forward in light of the global pandemic.
The 1,260-guest ship was set to leave the fleet next April, but her departure was brought forward to enable the sale.
P&O Cruises Australia president Sture Myrmell said Pacific Aria had made more than 220 voyages since joining the fleet in November 2015.
“Aria might have been with us for just five years but she is no less prominent in our affection and respect for her contribution to P&O and cruising,” Myrmell said.
“Our guests fell in love with Pacific Aria’s modern interior design as she set the benchmark for the evolution of the brand creating a path for the introduction of Pacific Explorer two years later.
“There is much to look forward to as we keep transforming our fleet in readiness for welcoming Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter.
“When we paused operations in March, we could not have known that it would also mark Pacific Aria’s final voyage with guests on board. It is disappointing that we cannot honour Aria with a farewell cruise.”
The cruise line said it will protect travel agent commissions on all bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full as at 14 October 2020.
According to P&O, Pacific Aria’s new owner would confirm its purchase in a separate announcement.
Pacific Aria was originally to be bought by CMV, but P&O was forced to make other arrangements after CMV entered into voluntary administration in July.
The news follows reports that Pacific Dawn, which will also leave the line in the coming weeks, is to become part of a floating community permanently anchored in the Gulf of Panama.
Maritime Executive has reported that a company called Ocean Builders has acquired the ship, which was built in 1991 and operated under Princess Cruises before moving onto P&O.
According to the company’s COO, Chad Elwartowski, the goal is to create a technology hub for entrepreneurs, expats, digital nomads, and cryptocurrency companies that want to test their technology in a controlled environment.
Ocean Builders has dubbed the vessel ‘the crypto cruise ship’ and has renamed it Satoshi – the name used for the smallest unit of bitcoin.