Pacific Pearl is to retire from the P&O Cruises Australia fleet in April 2017, by which time she will have sailed 294 cruises and carried more than half a million passengers in her seven years with the brand.
The 63,786gt ship became New Zealand’s first superliner after joining the P&O Cruises Australia fleet in December 2010. Her final New Zealand cruise – a four-night voyage to the Bay of Islands – will depart Auckland on 23 March 2017, while her final P&O Cruises journey will be a 16-day cruise to Singapore departing Auckland on 27 March.
“In becoming a much loved passenger favourite, Pacific Pearl made a huge contribution to building the cruise category in the region particularly in New Zealand, introducing thousands of holidaymakers to the joys of cruising,” said Sture Myrmell, president of P&O Cruises Australia. “In addition to contributing to the growth of cruising in Australia, Pacific Pearl played a big part in growing the New Zealand season by more than 20% over the past four years. Following Pacific Pearl’s farewell in 2017, Pacific Jewel will become New Zealand’s ship and will sail from Auckland for two months from September 1 offering fantastic holidays to the Pacific Islands before returning again in 2018.”
Pacific Pearl will be transferred to another unnamed operator as part of P&O Cruises Australia’s ongoing fleet expansion and renewal programme.
“Farewelling Pacific Pearl is a natural progression in which we are increasing the size of the fleet while redefining modern cruising in this part of the world,” said Myrmell. “This is a very exciting time for P&O Cruises and our guests and is part of our long-term commitment to grow the cruise market.”
Relatively few guests’ forward bookings will be affected by the ship’s departure, but P&O Cruises will offer those who are the chance to rebook on an equivalent or near-equivalent cruise on another P&O Cruises Australia ship, or if this is not possible, a choice of alternative cruises on its other ships. Guests will also be entitled to a full refund if there is no suitable alternative cruise.