Pacific Pearl will be farewelled in 2017, according to an announcement of P&O 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 Australia's President, Sture Myrmell, said:
"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.
“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.”
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.