P&O Cruises Australia has announced Pacific Dawn, “the backbone of the Australian cruise industry”, will be departing its fleet early.
The 70,000-tonne superliner was originally scheduled to leave P&O in February next year; however, her departure has been sped up to facilitate an early sail.
Pacific Dawn became Australia’s first superliner when she sailed from Sydney on 9 November 2007 – and since that time she has carried a staggering 1.2 million guests.
She has homeported from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland over the past 13 years, arguably doing more than any other ship to lead the growth of cruising.
“Pacific Dawn has spawned the amazing careers of many of our highly-professional hotel directors, cruise directors and entertainment staff who have grown with P&O into a modern cruise line that has been the backbone of the industry,” P&O Cruises Australia president Sture Myrmell said.
“But Pacific Dawn has also been much admired and loved by her many guests, especially her loyal following in Queensland, as well as her crew. Having made more than 610 voyages, she has been the backdrop for countless holiday memories and family celebrations.”
Myrmell said he was P&O’s head of hotel operations when Pacific Dawn first joined the fleet, and the ship has many strong memories for him too.
It has been widely reported that Pacific Dawn was to be bought by Cruise & Maritime Voyages; however, that has not eventuated and the ship’s departure has now been brought forward after reaching an agreement to sell the ship during the pause in operations.
P&O will pay refunds back to travel agents for guests who booked through that sales channel. The cruise line will also protect travel agent commissions on all bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full as at 27 September 2020 and for the total amount of the future cruise credits.
P&O said it will make contact with guests whose cruises have been affected, either directly or via their appointed travel agent, to let them know of this development and the options available to them.
Pacific Dawn is just the latest in a spate of cruise ships sails, with Princess Cruises selling Sun Princess and Sea Princess last week, and Carnival selling Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination the week before.