Following a competition to name the two ships that are due to join the fleet of P&O Cruises Australia in late 2015, the winning entries were Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden. Holland America Line’s Ryndam and Statendam are the two ships to be given the names, and they will be refitted to reflect the requirements of their new market. Their introduction will allow P&O Cruises to offer more short break cruises, as well as opening up new destinations.
P&O ships have been cruising from Australia for more than 80 years, but up until the late 1980s it was ships from the UK fleet that were used, although both Arcadia (1954) and later Oriana (1960) were dedicated to the market for year-round cruising.
Then, with the acquisition of Sitmar Line in 1988, that company’s already established Australian ship, Fairstar, effectively formed the basis for what will shortly be a five-ship operation. Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden (which ship will take which name has not yet been announced) will join Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl (allships that were ordered by Sitmar) in November 2015.
Other Carnival group cruise ships based in Australia include two ships from the Princess Cruises fleet and Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Spirit.