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Carnival Australia announced today that Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess will join the P&O Australia fleet in May 2017.

At 77,000 tonnes and with a passenger capacity of 2,000, Dawn Princess will be the largest ship in P&O’s fleet. The ship will be refurbished and renamed before she joins P&O. “This ship is a great addition to P&O Cruises’ fleet, with her larger size opening up opportunities for new onboard product and experiences,” said P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Sture Myrmell.

Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said the move reflected increased demand for cruises in local waters. “Australia is the world’s fastest growing cruise market, so as the biggest cruise operator Down Under we’re delighted to be expanding our local presence even further,” she said. “These fleet changes will help us further increase the range of exciting cruise options on offer to Australians and continue to meet local demand for holidays at sea.”

Princess Cruises will have five ships in Australian waters for the 2016/2017 season, prior to the departure of Dawn Princess. The 2,600-passenger Golden Princess will be based in Australia throughout 2017.