P&O Cruises Australia has finalised the creation of its new ship which will be built specifically for the Australian and New Zealand market.

The ship will be launched in 2019 and will be the largest ship in P&O Australia’s fleet. She will have the capacity to carry more than 4,200 guests.

She will have 2,100 cabins and will be based all year round in Australia.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the finalisation of the contract with ship builder Fincantieri is a new chapter of cruising in Australia.

“This is a very proud moment for P&O and a significant step forward in our continued growth in this market,” he said.

“Our new build will be a ship like no other, reflecting the tastes of modern Australia and building on the ongoing evolution of P&O Cruises’ product in recent years. We are incredibly excited to be creating this ship and can’t wait to reveal detail over the months ahead.”

P&O will also be refurbishing the Pacific Explorer in May and her sister ship, Pacific Peal will depart the fleet in April.

“With an average annual 20 per cent growth in passenger numbers over the past decade, Australia is one of the fastest growing cruise markets in the world. Our expansion will not only help meeting surging demand and it will drive future growth by enticing more Australians to holiday at sea,” said Mr Myrmell.

The contract was signed on Saturday at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Italy.