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Carnival Retires P&O Australia, Expands Flagship Cruise Line

Sunsets on P&O AUSTRALIA

In a strategic move to expand its flagship brand, Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, revealed plans to sunset the P&O Cruises Australia brand in March 2025. The Australian operations will be absorbed into Carnival Cruise Line, the most popular cruise line globally.

This decision aims to boost guest capacity for Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation's highest-returning brand. Since 2021, eight new ships have joined the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, including three vessels transferred from sister brand Costa Cruises. Furthermore, the company recently placed orders for two new Excel-class ships, set to debut in 2027 and 2028.

"Despite increasing Carnival Cruise Line's capacity by almost 25% since 2019, guest demand remains incredibly strong. We're leveraging our scale in an even more meaningful way by absorbing an entire brand into the world's most popular cruise line," stated Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. "In 2019, Carnival Cruise Line represented 29% of our total capacity. By early next year, it will account for approximately 35% of our global capacity. Our overall growth between 2019 and 2028 is projected to be less than 2% CAGR, but Carnival Cruise Line will grow by about 50%."

The realignment not only optimizes Carnival Corporation's global brand portfolio but also enhances its performance in the South Pacific through operational efficiencies.

"P&O Cruises Australia is a storied brand with an amazing team. We are extremely proud of our achievements in Australia and the broader region," Weinstein added. "However, given the South Pacific's small population and higher operating and regulatory costs, we are adjusting our approach to maintain an incredible cruise experience year-round in the region. Carnival Corporation remains committed to Australia, continuing as the largest cruise operator with 19 ships visiting 78 destinations, representing almost 60% of the market."


Building on a Shared Legacy

As P&O Cruises Australia retires, the Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure ships will be rebranded under Carnival Cruise Line. The Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet in February 2025. Current itineraries will proceed as planned, with guests being notified of any changes to future bookings soon.

Upon completion of the transition, Carnival Cruise Line will have four ships in the South Pacific market. These include the Sydney-based Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa, which sails seasonally from Brisbane, alongside the newly rebranded Encounter and Adventure.

"We look forward to building on P&O Cruises Australia's history by introducing our innovations to more guests in the region," said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. "While we will make some technology upgrades and minor changes to the P&O ships, they will retain their Australian market appeal, offering familiar experiences. Notably, our HubApp will be available, allowing guests to make dining and excursion reservations, request food and beverage delivery, and chat with other guests. P&O Cruises Australia guests can also join Carnival's loyalty program and enjoy promotional offers specific to Carnival ships in the region."

Weinstein concluded, "In the coming months, we will celebrate and honor P&O Cruises Australia, a valued part of our legacy and a significant contributor to South Pacific tourism. We appreciate the connection our P&O Cruises Australia guests, employees, travel advisors, public officials, and destinations have with our company and are committed to building on this association as Carnival."

This transition marks a significant chapter in Carnival Corporation's growth strategy, reinforcing its commitment to delivering exceptional cruise experiences while optimizing its global brand portfolio.

As a result of this merger, some P&O Australia itineraries will be affected. Read below the message directly from P&O Australia's website:

In early 2025, the P&O Cruises Australia brand will be sunset, and its operations will be integrated into its sister line, Carnival Cruise Line. As a result, the following itineraries are affected.

Pacific Explorer – discontinued operations from 2nd March 2025

Pacific Adventure:Itineraries cancelled: V515, V516, V517, V518 Operated by Carnival Cruise Line after April 2025

Pacific Encounter:Itineraries cancelled: I512, I513, I514 Operated by Carnival Cruise Line after April 2025

If you are booked on one of these itineraries you will be contacted by Guest Services in the coming days with refund details. We apologise that this change has been necessary.

If you are booked on any other P&O Cruises Australia itinerary your cruise is unaffected by this announcement and we look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.

No Carnival Cruise Line itineraries are impacted by this announcement.

We are all immensely proud of P&O Cruises Australia’s 90-year heritage of dedicated operations in the region and

Carnival Cruise Line are honored to carry forward its storied legacy and continue to deliver the same onboard experiences and itineraries with the benefit of Carnival Cruise Line HUB app and loyalty program.

Thank you for your support of P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Cruise Line.


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