P&O Cruises Australia operations set to disappear

Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, has announced a ‘strategic shift to further leverage its scale and strengthen its performance in Australia and the South Pacific’, with the result that the Australian brand P&O Australia is to disappear.

In March 2025, the company will ‘sunset’ the P&O Cruises Australia brand and fold the Australia operations into Carnival Cruise Line, which has served the South Pacific since 2013 and Carnival says is the world’s most popular cruise line.

When the transition is complete early next year, Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure will begin sailing under the Carnival Cruise Line brand while Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet.

Current itineraries will operate business as usual, and guests will be notified in the coming days of any changes to future bookings as a result of this announcement.

According to Josh Weinstein, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation, the company ‘remains committed’ to Australia and the South Pacific.

Carnival Cruise Line has four ships in the market, including three year-round ships: Sydney-based Carnival Splendor and Carnival Adventure, and Brisbane-based Carnival Encounter as well as Carnival Luminosa sailing seasonally from Brisbane.

Including these ships, Carnival Corporation says it will have seven cruise lines sailing 19 ships calling on 78 destinations and representing almost 60 per cent of the market in 2025.

“P&O Cruises Australia is a storied brand with an amazing team, and we are extremely proud of everything we have accomplished together in Australia and the broader region,” Mr Weinstein said.

“However, given the strategic reality of the South Pacific’s small population and significantly higher operating and regulatory costs, we’re adjusting our approach to give us the efficiencies we need to continue delivering an incredible cruise experience year-round to our guests in the region.”

“In making this important announcement we recognise that P&O Cruises Australia is much loved across the region, having been dedicated to local operations for over 90 years, delighting guests and being welcomed by destinations across the region.

“We value the pride our P&O Cruises guests, employees, travel partners, public officials and destinations have in our company, and we will find ways to celebrate and honour P&O Cruises Australia in the coming months,” said Weinstein. P&O Cruises Australia will continue operations until March of 2025. Carnival Corporation has a portfolio of cruise lines including AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America, P&O Cruises (UK) (which is unaffected by this announcement), Princess Cruises, and Seabourn.

Photo by Tony Martin/

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