Pacific Pearl will be farewelled in 2017, according to an announcement of P&O Cruises Australia. A commercial arrangement was reached to transfer the vessel, as part of the ongoing fleet expansion and renewal program of the line.
The 1987-built Pacific Pearl will leave the PO Cruises fleet in April 2017, after completing 294 cruises for the line, carrying more than half a million travelers over 5 years. However, the older ship has to make room for the latest additions, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, as well as Pacific Explorer, which joins in 2017, and a bigger, newly built vessel in 2019.
After launching in December 2010, Pacific Pearl became the first superliner of New Zealand, beginning with an 8-night cruise to the South Pacific from Auckland. P&O Cruises Australia president, Sture Myrmell, said:
“Pacific Pearl made a huge contribution to building the cruise category in the region, particularly in New Zealand, introducing thousands of holidaymakers to the joys of cruising. In addition to contributing to the growth of cruising in Australia, Pacific Pearl played a big part in growing the New Zealand season by more than 20 per cent over the past four years. This year, P&O Cruises is sailing from Auckland for a record 140 days.
“P&O Cruises remains the only cruise line to homeport from New Zealand and we are committed to the market. Following Pacific Pearl’s farewell in 2017, Pacific Jewel will become New Zealand’s ship and will sail from Auckland for two months from September 1 offering fantastic holidays to the Pacific Islands before returning again in 2018.”
Myrmell shared that the departure of Pearl was part of the ongoing evolution of P&O brand.
“Farewelling Pacific Pearl is a natural progression in which we are increasing the size of the fleet while redefining modern cruising in this part of the world. This is a very exciting time for P&O Cruises and our guests and is part of our long-term commitment to grow the cruise market.”
The last New Zealand cruise of Pacific Pearl - a 4-night cruise to Bay of Islands - will depart from Auckland on March 23, 2017. Ship's final P&O cruise will be a 16-day sailing to Singapore departing from Auckland on March 27, 2017.