The Pacific Explorer makes her triumphant return on May 31 sailing on a four-night voyage to Brisbane.

She is the first international ship to return to Australian waters after more than a two-year hiatus.

The return marks a new era of our cruise industry, with more ships heading Down Under and to New Zealand in the upcoming wave season.

The ship’s crew has been busy readying the ship, folding more than 5000 bedsheets, polishing a multitude of wine glasses and prepping the galley for the thousands of meals that will be served each day during the first sailing.

Take a look at what’s new onboard:

P&O Cruises Head of Entertainment, Brett Annable said: “During our pause in operations, we continued to work hard to make sure our return to cruise was a memorable experience for all of our loyal guests and crew. The pizza ovens are preheated, and the Disco Diver and Super Slider waterslides are ready for cruise goers to splash out. We couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming our first guests back onboard.”

On top of Pacific Explorer’s 18 delicious dining options, including award-winning pizza at 400 Gradi and 60+ daily activities, including the P&O Edge Adventure Park, cruisers will be able to reacquaint themselves with everything they know and love about a P&O cruise, including some exciting new updates.

  • Purple Rabbit: The latest creation from Creative Director Scott Maidment, fans of the Black Circus Cabaret will love this new and never before seen show, Purple Rabbit. The cast has been rehearsing for weeks, ready for their live performances.
  • New and improved cocktail menu: The Bonded Store mixologists are shaking things up in preparation for the return of guests with a new Archie Rose menu that features a host of tantalising cocktails, including six new ones.
  • Dining experiences: From award-winning Melbourne chef Johnny Di Francesco comes 400 Gradi, one of 18 restaurants on board specialising in authentic Italian cuisine. The traditional Neapolitan pizzeria has cranked up the ovens in preparation of churning out their handcrafted selection of woodfired pizzas.
  • On board activities: With over 60 daily activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on Pacific Explorer. Crews are powering up the Disco diver and Super Slider water slides, each stretching more than 80 metres, ready for both big and little kids to enjoy. The new Arcade featuring more than 20 games, provides the perfect kids sanctuary with guaranteed fun all round.
  • Guest rooms: Pacific Explorer’s dedicated room stewards are adding their final touches to the 999 rooms on board, making sure each is perfectly made up and ready for the first guest to step foot inside.

“Cruising is back and the energy on board Pacific Explorer today is electric. The cabins are getting their final touches, and the smell of fresh coffee is wafting from Charlie’s Bar,” said Mr Anabel.

“We are ready to go, and we’re sure our guests are as excited as we are to set sail.”