For Aussie travellers and cruise enthusiasts seeking for a holiday escape, the country’s homegrown P&O Australia is always a good choice.

P&O is also embarking on highly ambitious 2024 voyages drawing a record of half a million cruisers on over 179 cruises for 46 destinations around the region. 

Ultimate guide to P&O Cruises Australia
P&O Australia’s Pacific Encounter.

They have pioneered new destinations and has also introduced a contemporary cruise experience which has been designed for the local Australian market. Today, the cruise line’s three ships – Pacific Adventure, Pacific Encounter and Pacific Explorer – are sailing from home ports across Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the line offers a diverse range of itineraries that highlight the best of the region’s sun-drenched coastlines and vibrant cultures.

Whether you’re wanting to explore the iconic Sydney Harbour, basking on the white-sand beaches of Whitsundays, or marveling at the natural gems of Western Australia, P&O Australia has curated itineraries showcasing the stunning coastlines and vibrant cities of the land down under.

Moreover, the line also provides Australian travellers with a gateway to captivating destinations beyond Australia’s shores. P&O Australia offers itinerries for the Pacific Island and New Zealand where guests get to explore the pristine beaches of Fiji, go snorkeling with the coral reefs of Vanuatu and marvel at the awe-inspiring New Zealand’s Fiorland Park.

So, for seasoned and first-time cruisers who want to explore the beauty of Australia’s home-away-from-home, here is Cruise Passenger’s ultimate guide to P&O Cruises Australia.

The P&O Australia fleet

P&O Cruises Australia has a fleet of three: Pacific Encounter, Pacific Adventure and Pacific Explorer

Pacific Encounter was built in 2002 and was last refurbished in 2021. This 17-decker lady of the sea spans 290 metres and is 108,865 gross tonnage. In addition, this former Star Princess can accommodate a total of 2600 guests and travels at an average speed of 20 knots. 

Pacific Adventure is a year older than Encounter as it was built in 2001 but also underwent refurbishment in 2021. This 14-decker has a length of 290 metres and travels an average speed of 22 knots. It can accommodate a total of 2636 cruise passengers and is served by a total of 1100 crew. 

Meanwhile, Pacific Explorer is the smallest of the tri-vessel fleet at a length of 260 metres, and weighing a total of 77,441 tons. This 1997-built ship has a total capacity of 1990 guests with an average speed of 21 knots.

The P&O Australia staterooms

P&O Cruises Australia offers modern standards of accommodation when it comes to comfort and convenience. The line offers a diverse range of cabin options across its contemporary fleet, catering to a variety of preferences and budgets. 

From a 14sqm interior stateroom to a 65sqm Penthouse suite, each stateroom is thoughtfully designed for guests to experience a relaxing haven at sea.

P&O Australia suite
P&O Australia’s Suite accommodation.

P&O Cruises Australia has nine stateroom categories:

  • Penthouse Suite
  • Grand Suite
  • Family Suite
  • Balcony Suite
  • Mini Suite
  • Balcony Cabin
  • Oceanview Cabin
  • Interior Cabin
  • Wheelchair-Accessible Handicap Cabin

Moreover, the line also offers the Byron Beach Club, specific to Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter. This exclusive-access retreat highlights various offerings such as access to private outdoor pool, whirlpool spas, and comfortable and convenient seating on the ship’s top deck. Additionally, the Byron Beach Club is made available to passengers booked in suites and some mini suites. 

The line also features Interconnecting Staterooms which are available for Interior, Oceanview & Balcony rooms fleet-wide. 

Furthermore, P&O Cruises Australia also boasts its wheelchair-accessible staterooms that range from 19.79sqm to 35.6sqm. Additionally, these wheelchair-accessible cabins also feature wider doorways, more spacious cabins, extra handrails and fold down shower seats, no steps and ramps for balcony access.

P&O Australia dining

Complimentary Dining

P&O Australia has more than 21 dining hubs across the fleet. It offers a wide array of restaurants that cater to every taste and palate.

The Waterfront Restaurant serves classic international menus. This dedicated main dining hub is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is available fleet-wide. On the other hand, Angelo’s is like being in a chic Italian trattoria, where the chefs passionately prepare traditional dishes with a twist. With the captivating images of Latin legends captured by renowned photographer Angelo Frontoni, this upscale restaurant offers the best of Italian cuisine. 

There’s also the Dragon Lady serving flavors of Asia. This restaurant highlights sushi rolls, spicy stir-fries and curry on top of their menu.

Catering to both the adventurous eater and those who crave familiar favourites, The Pantry offers a range of cuisines and modern Australian delights. This food court-style restaurant highlights changing daily menus. The Pantry includes these restaurants serving palate-satisfying dishes: Curry House, Mexicana, Kettle & Bun, Sugar Bar, Hook’s Fish & Chips, Stix, Fat Cow, McGregors Garden, and Nic & Toni’s.  

P&O Australia's The Pantry
The Sugar Bar at P&O Australia’s The Pantry.

Specialty Dining

P&O Cruises Australia also provides an array of specialty dining restaurants to cater to guests from different walks of life. The line has the newly introduced P&O Trattoria which indulges diners to try the rustic, home-style flavours of Italy in a more relaxed and warm ambiance. This dining hub specialises in freshly-cooked pizzas and pasta dishes accentuated with a nice wine selection. 

On the other hand, aboard P&O cruises, guests are up for a culinary journey should they choose to dine in Luke’s Bar & Grill. Here, menus are crafted by celebrity chef Luke Mangan.

Meanwhile, for cruise passengers wanting to experience a more laid back vibe while enjoying a good slice of pizza, P&O Pizzeria is the place to go.

What entertainment and activities can be found onboard?

P&O Cruises Australia features a wide selection of onboard activities that cater to every cruiser’s taste and vibe. For thrill-seekers, the adrenaline-pumping P&O Edge Adventure Park is always the first choice. This Australia’s largest adventure park at sea offers various activities for adventure enthusiasts. Guests get to soar down the length of the top deck on a blood-rushing flying fox. They could also scale new heights on the rock climbing wall, or take in the breathtaking scenery during an invigorating bridge roof walk. 

P&O Edge Adventure Park
The P&O Edge Adventure Park for thrill-seeking cruisers.

On the other hand, cruise passengers unleash their creative side and even acquire new skills with the line’s highly-engaging Classes at Sea program. 

Meanwhile, for cruisers seeking friendly competition and ultimate entertainment, P&O’s fleet boasts dedicated arcade areas like Level Up. Here, guests immerse themselves in a world of virtual adventures. From racing virtual motorcycles to exploring Jurassic Park, or showcase skills like air hockey and basketball hoops. 

P&O also highlights onboard activities for sports enthusiasts through a dedicated Sports Court perfect for playing tennis and basketball. 

During night time, P&O’s entertainment features reach new heights with its spectacular shows and themed events. From dazzling production shows at Marquee to edgy circus and cabaret and comedy performances at Black Circus, the line has thoughtfully prepared something to captivate its audience. Additionally, themed events provide opportunities to let loose and create lasting memories with fellow travelers.

Does P&O Australia have Wi-Fi packages?

P&O Australia’s internet packages come in two plans: the Single Device Plans and the Multi-Device Plans. 

Single Device Plan

The Single Device Plans has three packages: Social, Social Plus, and Premium. Social package is priced at $20 per person per day and includes access to the most popular social platforms. This includes Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, SnapChat, X (Twitter), WeChat, WhatsApp and Viber. In addition, this package also allows access to the most popular Banking websites.

Social Plus package costs $27 per person per day including everything on Social package. It also includes access to most websites, email platforms, TikTok and music streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music. Moreover, this package also offers free access to Australia’s leading news sites: The Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail and Herald Sun are all included.

On the other hand, the Premium package includes everything in both Social and Social Plus. It also includes access to Streaming sites such as YouTube, Netflix, TikTok, Stan, Disney+, Prime Video. Additionally, this package also includes access to video conferencing services such as Zoom, Teams and Skype.

Multi-Device Plan

When it comes to Multi-Device Plans, there are also three packages. The Premium +1 which is priced at $50 per day and allows two devices. There’s also the Premium +2 package which allows three devices and is priced at $70 per day. Finally, the Premium +3 costs $90 per day and allows four devices. 

Cruisers must take note that additional devices can be used by anyone sharing the same cabin. 

Does P&O have gratuities?

P&O Australia does not require tipping or gratuities in any of its ships. But cruisers are welcome to give their favourite staff a tip in appreciation of their services. Passengers may tip the staff and crew personally. They may also opt to visit the Reception Desk and have the tip added to their onboard account. 

Are there dress codes aboard P&O Australia?

P&O Australia recommends wearing casual clothing during the day. Moreover, at 5:30 onwards, smart casual is required in public lounges and restaurants. The line also has cocktil nights where female guests are required to wear cocktail dresses or evening wears while male guests are expected to wear suits. On the other hand, swimwear is only allowed around pool and open deck areas. Additionally, guests must wear shoes at all times when inside the restaurants.

Who sails on P&O Australia cruises?

P&O Australia’s cruises are popular to a wide range of travellers, attracting guests from all walks of life and age groups. Families with children are a significant demographic, as P&O offers plenty of kid-friendly activities, facilities, and entertainment options. Additionally, couples, both young and old, are also drawn to P&O’s romantic sailings and opportunities for relaxation and adventure.

Meanwhile, solo travelers also find a welcoming environment on board, with opportunities to socialize and make new connections.