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P&O is planning a series of new short themed-cruises after research revealed more than half of Aussie travellers want a holiday of no longer than three nights.

The line is hiring a host of performers, from comedians to country and western music acts and even Elvis Presley impersonators for themed music cruises dedicated to ‘The King’.

“Since 2012 the number of guests enjoying a three or four-night P&O Cruise has tripled,” says Ryan Tailbel, P&O Cruises Vice President Sales and Marketing.

Including the 10 short breaks that P&O introduced this year, short breaks now make up 40 per cent of the lines’ itinerary mix.

“Long holidays are extremely valuable  – but we’re also seeing more people look to make the most of their annual leave and weekends by getting away for shorter periods more often,” P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said.

“People want more than just sitting around and laying on the beach for three days, they want to combine it with an experience, regardless of whether it is a special interest, or something that is just fun. They want to tag something onto it and get as much out of their short break as they possibly can.”

P&O, which is known for their short-break comedy cruises, is branching out with two dedicated 1980s three-night Tribute Cruises celebrating the best of the MTV-generation’s music from pop, hip-hop, metal and rock.

The 1980s Tribute Cruise sails from Brisbane, on February 1, 2020 and has a second sailing from Sydney on April 3, 2020.

The entire cruise is 80s themed with performances from tribute bands, pop stars from the era as well as fancy dress parties and screenings of TV shows and films from the decade – think Miami Vice, Cheers, The Dukes of Hazzard and more.

The 80s themed cruise follows after P&O’s success of their first ‘Tribute to the King’ cruise that took place earlier this year.

That cruise had Elvis Presley and Tom Jones impersonators onboard to pay tribute to the 60s and 70s and it turned out to be one of P&O’s most successful and fastest-selling cruises of the year.

P&O is also answering a long-time request from cruise fans by rolling out the new Country Music Festival at Sea and departs Brisbane as early as December 7, 2019.

The festival will celebrate all genres of country music from rockabilly and country rock to folk and bluegrass with unique performances from respected artists (to be announced).

“If you put these themed cruises together, they are a lot of fun. People really get engaged and they get into it. The whole festival space in tourism has grown all over the world for many years, so this is really tapping into that,” Mr Myrmell said.

“The list of content options is endless. We have the facilities, we’re able to accommodate everybody, we can take everybody away, wine and dine them and put on entertainment and people can really immerse themselves in whatever topic we put on. I think there is a lot more opportunity in this space.”