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P&O cruise ship the Pacific Explorer moors at Sydney Harbour

Credit: Slow Walker /

Carnival Corporation Retiring P&O Cruises Australia Brand

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1870
June 4, 2024

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company, has announced a strategic shift that will see the P&O Cruises Australia brand sunset by March 2025. The brand’s operations in Australia will be integrated into Carnival Cruise Line.

This latest move is part of a series of strategic changes aimed at expanding guest capacity for Carnival Cruise Line, the corporation’s flagship and highest-returning brand. Since 2021, the expansion has resulted in the addition of eight new ships to Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet, including the successful transfer of three vessels from the sister brand, Costa Cruises. The company also recently ordered its first new ship in half a decade, with two new Excel-class cruise ships scheduled to join Carnival Cruise Line in 2027 and 2028.

Despite a nearly 25% capacity increase for Carnival Cruise Line since 2019, guest demand remains strong, according to Josh Weinstein, Carnival Corporation’s CEO. He says that Carnival Cruise Line, which was 29% of the corporation’s total capacity in 2019, will constitute approximately 35% of its total global capacity after the move.

“While our company’s overall growth between 2019 – 2028 is projected to be less than 2% (CAGR), the majority will be for Carnival Cruise Line, which will grow by approximately 50% over that time period,” said Weinstein.

The realignment will also enhance the company’s operations in the South Pacific. Weinstein assured that Carnival Corporation & plc remains committed to Australia and will continue to be the largest cruise operator in the region.

“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,” he said.

P&O Cruises Australia, with roots dating back to 1932, was acquired by Carnival Corporation in 2003.

Upon the retirement of the P&O Cruises Australia brand next year, the Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure ships will be rebranded and operated by the Carnival Cruise Line brand. The Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet in February 2025. Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, shared plans for technology upgrades and other small changes to the two P&O Cruises Australia ships.

It is important to note that the announcement does not impact P&O Cruises (UK), a separate Carnival Corporation brand based in England and dedicated to the UK market.

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