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P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises set to go as Carnival folds operations into Carnival Cruise Lines

High regulatory and operational efficiencies cited for the move

P&O Cruises, Australia will seize to exist from March 2025 as Carnival Corporation looks to consolidate their fleet and operations in the South Pacific in a series of strategic moves to increase guest capacity for Carnival Cruise Lines – the company’s flagship brand.

“Despite increasing Carnival Cruise Line’s capacity by almost 25% since 2019 including transferring three ships from Costa Cruises, 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 Josh Weinstein, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc.

The move is designed to realign and strengthen the company’s performance through numerous operational efficiencies.

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 Weinstein. “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. 

Weinstein also added Carnival Corporation & plc 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% of the market.

Joel Katz, Managing Director, CLIA, Australasia

Joel Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia said this highlighted the impact of high costs and regulatory uncertainty in the South Pacific. “While today’s news highlights the impact of high costs and regulatory uncertainty in our region, we are optimistic that this brand transition from P&O Cruises Australia to Carnival Cruise Line will open new opportunities and lead to continued success for our broader industry.”

Over the coming months, we will find ways to celebrate and honor P&O Cruises Australia – a valued part of our legacy and an important contributor to the tourism industry in the South Pacific,” said Weinstein. “We value the connection our P&O Cruises Australia guests, employees, travel advisor partners, public officials and destinations have with our company and are committed to building on this association moving forward as Carnival.” 

Joel Katz said it was time to honour the rich 90-year legacy of P&O Cruises Australia.

“As we honour P&O Cruises Australia’s rich 90-year legacy in our region, and celebrate the remarkable heritage and immense pride so many have, we are also excited about Carnival Cruise Line’s commitment to further building its brand down-under and look forward to a bright future ahead”, said Katz.

As the P&O Cruises Australia brand retires early next year, the Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure ships will be rebranded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line brand. Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet in February of 2025. 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.

When the transition is complete next year, Carnival Cruise Line – which has served the South Pacific since 2013 – will have four ships in the market, including Sydney-based Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa sailing seasonally from Brisbane, in addition to their new sister ships Encounter and Adventure.

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