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Carnival Cruise Line to Absorb Sister Brand P&O Cruises Australia

by Aoife O’Riordan

Jun 12, 2024

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Next year, Carnival Cruise Line will absorb its sister brand P&O Cruises Australia and its ships. The acquisition will expand the cruise line’s presence in the South Pacific. Through this move, Carnival Cruise Line will have control of two of P&O’s cruise liners — Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter.

“We look forward to building on the history and heritage of P&O Cruises Australia by bringing some of our innovations to more cruise guests in the region,” said Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line. “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. The most notable change will be the availability of our popular HubApp, enabling guests to make online dining and excursion reservations, request food and beverage delivery, and chat with other guests, among other features. P&O Cruises Australia guests will also be invited to participate in Carnival’s loyalty program and promotional offerings specific to Carnival ships sailing in the region.”

Because of the acquisition, Carnival Cruise Line, serving the South Pacific since 2013, will soon serve the the market across four ships. Carnival will also operate Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa in the region. The realignment will also strengthen Carnival Cruise Line’s performance in the region through various operational efficiencies.

P&O’s Pacific Explorer, meanwhile, will exit service in February of next year. Current itineraries continue to operate as usual and guests will be notified in the coming days of any changes to future bookings.

Following the merger, Carnival Cruise Line will comprise about 35 percent of the company’s total global capacity.

“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 Josh Weinstein, CEO, Carnival Corporation. “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.”

The merger does not affect Carnival Corporation’s England-based P&O Cruises, a separate brand. Carnival Cruise Line also announced the addition of two new Excel-class ships in spring 2027 and 2028; both have yet to be named.

Have you sailed with P&O Australia before? What are your thoughts on this merger? Do you plan to cruise in the South Pacific in the near future? What destinations would you like to visit? Tell us your thoughts. Email us at letters@globaltravelerusa.com. Please include your full name and location.

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