Carnival Corporation retires P&O Australia brand

   June 4, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

The world's largest cruise shipowner Carnival Corporation has announced the discontinuation of its Australian brand P&O Australia in a strategic move.

P&O's ship Pacific Explorer will be retired in February 2025, with customers receiving refunds for subsequent bookings. The ships Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure will transition to CCL-Carnival Cruise Line.

This decision is influenced by the South Pacific's limited population and high operating costs.

Despite P&O AU’s long history (1932-founded), Carnival aims to streamline fleet operations. Affected New Zealand customers will be contacted directly regarding the cancellations.

For customers booked on Pacific Explorer cruises before March 2025, those voyages will proceed as planned. Pacific Explorer's last cruise for P&O is scheduled for October 30th (a 5-night trip from Auckland to Melbourne).

Pacific Explorer (joined P&O AU in 2017) will return to Auckland next month and operate until October.

Affected customers will be contacted directly by the company, which has provided a statement on its website regarding the transition and cancellations.

The statement reads:

"In early 2025 P&O Cruises Australia brand will be sunset and its operations integrated into sister line, Carnival Cruise Line. As a result, all itineraries on Pacific Explorer scheduled to sail after March 2, 2025 are being cancelled.

"If you are booked on one of these itineraries you will be contacted by guest services in the coming days with refund details. We apologise that this change has been necessary.

"If you are booked to cruise before this date, your itinerary is unaffected and we look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.

"We are all immensely proud of P&O Cruises Australia's 90-year heritage of dedicated operations in the region and Carnival Cruise Line are honoured to carry forward its storied legacy and continue to deliver the same onboard experiences and itineraries."

When the brand transition is complete (in 2025), CCL will have four Australian ships - Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa, and the sisterships Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter.