P&O Cruises Australia announced that a second ‘Grand’ class ship will join the brand to replace the smaller ‘Pacific Jewel’, as part of the cruise line’s effort to refresh the fleet over time.
Carrying more than 3,100 pax, ‘Star Princess’ will join her sister ship, ‘Golden Princess’, in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet from the end of 2021.
‘Star Princess’ will replace the considerably smaller ‘Pacific Jewel’, which will leave P&O Cruises in March next year, by which time she will have served the brand for almost 10 years.
In September last year, P&O Cruises announced a plan to refresh its fleet over time, continuing to evolve the guest experience and creating economies of scale necessary to compete effectively in today’s environment.
“Pacific Jewel has been a jewel by name and by nature. I feel sentimental farewelling a much-loved ship but excited for the future because the addition of two bigger ships is a game-changer for P&O Cruises and its guests,” President of P&O Cruises and Carnival Australia, Sture Myrmell, explained.
“P&O Cruises is all about offering a great value cruise holiday that celebrates modern Australia across food, entertainment, activities and service delivered in a contemporary setting. We are ensuring P&O Cruises has the right ships for a contemporary brand operating in a competitive market.”
Myrmell also said P&O Cruises would continue to base ships year-round in its key homeports of Sydney and Brisbane, as well as offering seasonal sailings from other Australian states and New Zealand.
A refurbished ‘Golden Princess’ will join the P&O Cruises fleet in October, 2020 while her sister ship, ‘Star Princess’, will join the brand at the end of 2021. ‘Pacific Jewel’s’ final voyage will depart from Melbourne on 24th February, 2019 before being transferred to a new operator following her sale.
‘Pacific Jewel’ underwent a makeover in March this year. She was built by Fincantieri and started operations in 1989.
Meanwhile, ‘Pacific Eden’ leaves the fleet in April, 2019, having been acquired by CMV Group. She is to be renamed ‘Vasco da Gama’ and will be operated by CMV subsidiary Transocean.