P&O Cruises Australia is designing an adventure

Jon Ingleton talked with P&O Cruises Australia’s Petra Ryberg at CSIE and found out how the company is preparing to welcome two new sister ships to its fleet

P&O Cruises Australia is designing an adventure
Adventurous guests will be able to take a ride on Pacific Adventure’s twisting waterslide

Pacific Adventure (formerly Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess) will transfer to P&O Cruises Australia in October 2020, followed by Pacific Encounter (currently Princess Cruises’ Star Princess) in 2021. Before they start sailing, both ships will be renovated and rebranded in projects led by the brand’s head of design, Petra Ryberg.

“For Pacific Adventure, we’ll continue our modern Australian residential feel and create something more akin to a boutique hotel than a traditional big cruise ship design,” said Ryberg. “The two ships are structurally very similar, but we’ve not yet settled on the design brief for Pacific Encounter.”

Ryberg has a keen sense of the Australian spirit. “Australians love being outdoors, appreciate beautiful interiors, welcome diversity and live life to the full,” she said. “It’s about coming together and having a good time.”

This mandate has guided her past work and did so again for Pacific Adventure. “Over the past 18 months, we’ve invested a lot of time and energy into making this a beautiful but not overly pretentious ship,” she said. “Pacific Adventure will be a place for everyone to come together to have the vacation that they want – whether they are alone, travelling as a couple, with family or in the company of good friends.”

Guests can expect plenty of noteworthy spaces. “We think that we’ve hit the ideal tone throughout the ship with countless highlights, but of course our guests will be the ultimate judge,” said Ryberg. “Perhaps the biggest innovation for us the introduction of Byron Beach Club, an exclusive onboard retreat.”

Byron Beach Club offers mini suites with exclusive access to a private outdoor pool, whirlpool spas and comfortable seating on the top deck of the ship. “It will be the ultimate spot for pampering and relaxing in style with amazing sea views,” commented Ryberg.

First impressions are important in Ryberg’s work. “When I design the most important part for me is how guests feel when they walk into a space,” she said. “I aimed to evoke a typically Australian mood, but one that is appropriate to the space.”

The initial impressions of the Byron Beach Club since the company released images of the area have been exceedingly positive.

What’s next now that the design has been set down? “We’re now working with the furniture makers – we have over 5,300 items onboard and we have to give them sufficient time to produce the quality of product that our brand demands,” said Ryberg.

As with every other phase of the project, Ryberg takes a particularly hands-on approach, “I’m off visiting factories and outfitters, sketching on the go and working with them on the details of each piece.”

As the ship moves into the final outfitting phase later in 2020, Ryberg will keep a keen eye on proceedings. “In the meantime, I’ll continue working on the operational side of the design – working with the onboard teams give an important perspective,” she said, adding that this involves examining every detail.

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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Jon Ingleton
By Jon Ingleton
29 June 2020

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