P&O Cruises Australia has stepped up the pace of Australia’s astonishing cruise growth with a New Year’s Eve announcement of Australia’s first new ship.
Ready in 2019, the new ship will be purpose built for the Australian market and based here all year round carrying 4,200 passsengers
The P&O statement boasted the line was making history by becoming the first cruise line to build a new ship specifically for Australia.
The as yet unnamed 135,500-tonne ship would be the biggest ever to be based fulltime in Australia.
She will be taking on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, which arrives mid-2016 as the newest ship to be based here.
Both ships are being described as “game changers” – and certainly demonstrate the focus the two lines are putting on Australasia.
P&O will face a formidable ship in the Quantum class Ovation, which at 168,666 tones features the North Star viewing capsule, the RipCord by iFly skydiving system and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Jamie’s Italian.
Details of the new P&O ship will be released shortly, but the new ship will be 323 metres long and with 2100 guest rooms and will offer itineraries from three to 10 days.
Carnival Corporation, P&O’s parent company, has signed a memo of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build four new cruise ships for its global fleet.
Carnival Corporation has an existing fleet of 99 cruise ships and a total of 17 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2020.
Carnival Australia Executive Chairman Ann Sherry and P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell hailed the first ‘newbuild’ cruise ship for the Australian market as the best possible good news for one of the world’s top performing cruise markets.
“The much anticipated first newbuild cruise ship is a huge vote of confidence in the Australian cruise market with much of the 20 per cent year-on-year passenger growth over the past decade driven by P&O Cruises’ dynamic industry leadership,” Ms Sherry said.
Mr Myrmell said the new ship added to P&O Cruises’ pattern of growth, with the recent addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden to its three-ship fleet to be followed in 2017 with the addition of Pacific Explorer.
“P&O Cruises is the modern face of Australian cruising and, with such a proud heritage of leadership, it is a natural step to announce that the line will take delivery of its first newbuild ship,” Mr Myrmell said.
Mr Myrmell said details and features of the new ship will be revealed later but it will build on the continued evolution of the P&O Cruises’ brand and will reflect the tastes of modern Australia.