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Friday, July 19, 2024

Carnival to Sunset P&O Cruises Australia

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 4, 2024

(Photo: Carnival Corporation)

(Photo: Carnival Corporation)

Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company, announced that in March 2025, the company will sunset the P&O Cruises Australia brand.

The New-York-listed cruise giant said the move is once of several intended to increase guest capacity for its flagship brand, Carnival Cruise Line, which will absorb the operations of shuttered Australian cruise brand. P&O Cruises Australia ships Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure will be rebranded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line, and Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet in February of 2025.

“Despite increasing Carnival Cruise Line’s capacity by almost 25% since 2019 including transferring three ships from Costa Cruises, guest demand remains incredibly strong so we’re leveraging our scale in an even more meaningful way by absorbing an entire brand into the world’s most popular cruise line,” said Josh Weinstein, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc. “In 2019, Carnival Cruise Line was 29% of our total capacity, and when we complete this move early next year, Carnival Cruise Line – our highest-returning brand – will make up approximately 35% of our total global capacity. While our company’s overall growth between 2019 – 2028 is projected to be less than 2% (CAGR), the majority will be for Carnival Cruise Line, which will grow by approximately 50% over that time period.”

Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet has added eight new ships since 2021, including the two P&O Cruises Australia vessels, three vessels from sister brand Costa Cruises and the first new ship order in half a decade for two new Excel-class cruise ships to join Carnival Cruise Line in 2027 and 2028.

Carnival said the the realignment will strengthen its performance in the South Pacific through operational efficiencies.

“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,” 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% of the market.”

When the transition is complete next year, Carnival Cruise Line – which has served the South Pacific since 2013 – will have four ships in the market, including Sydney-based Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa sailing seasonally from Brisbane, in addition to their new sister ships Encounter and Adventure.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, 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 noted the announcement does not impact P&O Cruises (UK), which is a separate Carnival Corporation & plc brand based in England and dedicated to the UK market.