Carnival Corporation to retire P&O Cruises Australia brand in 2025

Australian operations will be incorporated into the Carnival Cruise Line brand, increasing the cruise line’s fleet, which includes four based in the South Pacific 

Carnival Corporation to retire P&O Cruises Australia brand in 2025

P&O Cruises Australia

By Laura Hyde |

Carnival Corporation is to retire the P&O Cruises Australia brand in 2025 and transfer responsibility for two ships and all operations in the region to its Carnival Cruise Line brand. 

Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure will be rebranded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line, while Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet in February 2025. Once the transition is complete, Carnival Cruise Line will have four ships homeporting in the South Pacific, including Sydney-based Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa, which sails seasonally from Brisbane.  

“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,” said Josh Weinstein, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation. “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. Over the coming months, we will find ways to celebrate and honour P&O Cruises Australia – a valued part of our legacy and an important contributor to the tourism industry in the South Pacific.” 

The change is the latest in a series of strategic moves by Carnival Corporation to increase capacity for Carnival Cruise Line, its flagship and highest-returning brand. The change means Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet will increase by eight ships between 2021 and 2025 – this includes the two P&O Australia ships, three vessels have already been transferred from sister brand Costa Cruises, and newbuilds Carnival Celebration, Carnival Mardi Gras and Carnival Jubilee. In March 2024, the cruise line placed its first new ship order in half a decade for two new Excel-class cruise ships to join the fleet in 2027 and 2028

“Despite increasing Carnival Cruise Line’s capacity by almost 25 per cent since 2019, guest demand remains incredibly strong so we’re leveraging our scale in an even more meaningful way by absorbing an entire brand into the world’s most popular cruise line,” said Weinstein. “Carnival Corporation remains committed to Australia and we will continue to be the largest cruise operator in the region with 19 ships calling on 78 destinations and representing almost 60 per cent of the market.” 

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, aims to build on the history and heritage of P&O Cruises Australia. “While we plan to make some technology upgrades and other small changes to the two P&O Cruises Australia ships, they will continue to be geared to the unique Australian market with a familiar feel and much of the same experiences for P&O Cruises Australia guests,” she said.

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