Say goodbye to the Pacific Dawn, one of Australia’s longest serving homeported ships.

Today, P&O Cruises announced that Australia’s first superliner will be leaving the fleet a few months earlier than expected. She was due to leave the fleet in February 2021.

The Pacific Dawn started voyages Down Under on 9 November 2007 and has hosted a staggering 1.2 million guests.

Kristy Dawes, who commented on P&O Cruise Australia Facebook page saying, “P&O Cruises Australia, we were married onboard the Dawn in 2013 so it will be forever in our memories. We were due to set sail on it earlier this year before she left 🙁 We are so blessed to have such significant memories with the Dawn and your crew.”

Kristy Dawes
Kristy Dawes and her family at their wedding on the Dawn

Over the last 13 years, she has been homeported in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland and president of P&O Cruises Australia Sture Myrmell said he has fond memories of the Dawn.

“Seafarers talk about ships having personalities because they develop such affection for the unique way each one operates. 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,” he 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.”

Mr Myrmell was head of P&O’s Head of Hotel Operations when she joined the fleet.

“While I am disappointed at not being able to farewell her with a final voyage because of the pause in operations, I am excited about our future as we keep evolving as a brand and look to welcoming Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter to the fleet,” he said.

P&O Cruises will assist affected guests who were booked on Pacific Dawn from 17 December. They can choose alternative arrangements including a full refund or bonus onboard credit if they choose the future cruise credit option. Guests on select cruises can opt to move their booking to the same time next year and receive bonus onboard credit.

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 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.
Guests with bookings affected by the pause in operations, can track the progress of their future cruise credit or refund request via a new tracking tool found on P&O’s website.

Mr Myrmell apologised to guests for this inconvenience, acknowledging how challenging it had been given the continued extension of the operational pause since March.

On the P&O Australia cruise club and P&O Cruises Australia Facebook pages, comments poured in when the line announced the Dawn’s departure.

Here are some of their stories:

Bridget Holmes

We loved the Dawn too, went on cruises to Vanuatu several times, (my partner lived there for 15 years so many friends) always had marvellous staff, no worries….loved every minute of cruising !!

Juyne Lee

I had really hoped that P&O would keep her.. I know she is “old” but in these times a middle sized ship seems perfect, I am not a fan of floating cities with ALL their problems. I have sailed with P&O since 1975 ,11 cruises on the Dawn alone and loved every space on her and the people who “crewed” her…So Sad and sitting back to see what “middle size” ships will sail out of Brisbane next year. I had hoped to do my 12th cruise on the Dawn this year to Fiji (Bounty)….

Robyn Jordan

Was on that cruise with my friend when the guys were rescued. Everyone watching & shout as brought aboard. Sea was a little choppy but, to see their boat sink was sad. Hope to meet staff again one day. Miss the Dawn.

Helen Menzies

My first cruise was Pacific Dawn for honeymoon 11 years ago. The start of our cruising life.

Luke Robinson

Pacific Dawn the best nightclub dance floor the dome. Always be the favourite ship and fav place to dance and meet people hope the new ships have the same big dance area. Thanks for the memories.

Pacific Dawn’s P&O Service 2007-2020

During her P&O Cruises Australia service, based on itineraries sailed, Pacific Dawn travelled a total of 1,208,812 nautical miles or 2,238,719 kilometres.

In sailing the estimated 1.2 million nautical miles or 2.2 million kilometres, Pacific Dawn travelled the equivalent of to the moon and back nearly three times or nearly 56 times around the Equator.

Also during her P&O Cruises Australia service, Pacific Dawn made the following calls and turnarounds at these ports:

  • Brisbane approximately 480
  • Port Vila approximately 310
  • Noumea approximately 280
  • Sydney approximately 160
  • Number of P&O guests carried — 1.2 million