Pacific Jewel

Former names: Karnika (Jalesh India), Pacific Jewel (P&O), Ocean Village 2, AIDAblu, Arosa Blu, Crown Princess

Specifications of Pacific Jewel

Year of build1990  /  Age: 31
BuilderFincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)
Building costUSD 280 million
Speed23 kn / 43 km/h / 26 mph
Length (LOA)245 m / 804 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage70285 gt
Passengers1674 - 2009
Passengers-to-space ratio35
Decks with cabins6
Last Refurbishment2018, Alang-scrapped in 2021
Former namesKarnika (Jalesh India), Pacific Jewel (P&O), Ocean Village 2, AIDAblu, Arosa Blu, Crown Princess
Christened bySophia Loren (Princess), Quentin Bryce (P&O Australia), Shreyasi Punit Goenka (Jalesh Cruises)
OwnerEssel Group (via Zen Cruises Pvt Ltd)
OperatorJalesh Cruises India

Pacific Jewel Review

Review of Pacific Jewel

The 1990-built (as "Crown Princess") cruise ship MS Karnika was part of P&O Australia's fleet (as "Pacific Jewel") between 2009-2019. In 2019, the liner left P&O AU, with its final cruise departing from Melbourne on February 24th.

History - construction and ownership

In late-August 2018, Zen Cruises (a new company established by Essel Group, India) was announced as buyer of the vessel Pacific Jewel. Essel Group (1926-founded, headquartered in Mumbai India) is an Indian conglomerate of several corporations with business divisions in media, news, technology, entertainment, packaging, infrastructure developments, financial services, precious metals (gold and silver refinery), education, charity. The Essel Group-owned Zen Cruises Pvt Ltd is lead by Jurgen Bailom (CEO and President).

In January 2020, Jalesh Cruises announced planned acquisition of a second ship to double the fleet's capacity. The second-hand vessel (the name was not announced) was scheduled to start operations in October 2020. In mid-October 2020, Jalesh announced in a statement that the company suspends operations permanently due to the ongoing COVID-related port closures and international travel restrictions.

Jalesh India suspended (initially temporarily) passenger shipping since March 12, 2020, mounting debts from creditors. The Karnika ship remained permanently docked at Port Mumbai (Bombay) with a skeleton crew of 60. In October, the company's creditors (via India's Admiralty Court) had the vessel arrested in Port Mumbai.

Jalesh Cruises planned to restart operations on November 6, 2020. India's Government permitted cruise vessels to start passenger shipping from October 1. The cruise ship's AIS transmitted for the last time on November 24, 2020, showing the vessel anchored near Alang Ship Breaking Yard. Unfortunately, this beautiful 30-year-old liner joined CruiseMapper's Scrapped Cruise Ships hub.

Jalesh Karnika ship (IMO number 8521220) was Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 311000892) and registered in Nassau. The vessel was last drydock refurbished (by P&O AU) in 2018.

MS Karnika cruise ship (Jalesh Cruises India)

Before Jalesh Cruises India, the liner's previous operator was P&O Australia - a subsidiary company fully owned by Carnival Corporation. The 1950-passenger ship Pacific Jewel used to be part also of the Carnival's German-based brand AIDA Cruises (as AIDAblu) and Ocean Village Holidays (now-defunct company), before joining P&O Australia in 2009. The "dolphin-like" ship was designed by Italian Renzo Piano. Its sistership is Pacific Dawn (now Ambassador Ambience).

The vessel was launched on May 25, 1989, as "Crown Princess", and delivered to P&O Princess Cruises on June 29, 1990. The inaugural voyage started on July 8. In 2002, the shipowner P&O Princess Cruises created A'Rosa Cruises (a Germany-targeting brand) and transferred the vessel, renaming it "A'Rosa Blu". In 2004, the new shipowner Carnival Corporation transferred the vessel to the AIDA subsidiary, increasing its capacity (to 2014 passengers, 621 crew) and renaming it to "AIDAblu". On April 24, 2007, started Ocean Village Two's Inaugural cruise (Mediterranean itinerary) following a drydock refit at Lloyd Werft (Bremerhaven Germany). The vessel joined its fleet mate Ocean Village One (currently Columbus).

Pacific Jewel cruise ship as the design was sister to Pacific Dawn (now Ambassador Ambience) and similar to Pacific Pearl (CMV Columbus since 2017) and Crown Princess.

Pacific Jewel cruise ship (Ocean Village 2)

In 2010, the Ocean Village company ceased operations. In November the vessel was refurbished in Singapore (at Sembawang Shipyards), renamed "Pacific Jewel" and started a South Pacific cruise itinerary program with departures from homeport Sydney NSW Australia.

Vessel's official delivery to Zen Cruises was on March 12 (2019), followed by a major drydock refurbishment. Renamed "Karnika", the liner started operations for Zen Cruises (via the brand "Jalesh Cruises") on April 17, 2019, from homeport Mumbai.

The christening ceremony was on April 19, 2019, held in Port Mumbai. Karnika ship's godmother was Mrs Shreyasi Punit Goenka. The naming ceremony was attended by five people credited to international fame as India's first/best in their fields - Mr Milkha Singh (Commonwealth Games 1958 gold medal winner), Mrs Subhash Chandra (Actor) Ms Sushmita Sen (Miss Universe 1994), Mr Mahesh Bhupati (Grand Slam Tournament 1997 winner) and Ms Mary Kom (boxer, Asian Games 2014 winner). The special event started with priests chanting hymns. After the head priest traditionally broke a coconut followed the maritime naming ritual with the Godmother saying "I name this ship Karnika. May God bless her, her officers, staff, crew and all who sail on her". Next was the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle on the bow hull. The ceremony also featured live performances by Aakriti Kakkar (singer), Papa CJ (stand-up comedian) and DJ Bally Sagoo.

The cruise ship is named after the celestial maiden/nymph Apsara Karnika (female spirit) who rewards with treasures and pleasures those engaged in hard labour. "Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi" is a 2019-released Indian epic drama movie based on the life of Lakshmibai (Rani of Jhansi / 1828-1858, born in Varanasi). She was the Queen of Jhansi (reign 1853-54 and 1857-58). The Jhansi region is currently part of North India's Uttar Pradesh state.

Cruise itinerary program

Pacific Jewel itinerary program was based on Australia cruises from homeports Sydney,Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle, including roundtrip "South Pacific Islands" voyages to Fiji, Vanuatu, Santo, New Caledonia, repositioning, cruises to nowhere and short-breaks to Queensland, Great Barrier Reef, Papua New Guinea, Coral Coast and Indonesia.

Jalesh Karnika ship's itinerary program included itineraries between homeports Mumbai and Mormugao (inaugural season) and Middle East voyages. Jalesh Cruises shore excursions program includes tour options in large port cities like Kochi, Chennai, Vizag (Visakhapatnam), Mormugao, Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Colombo, Muscat, Ras Al Khaimah, Singapore, Penang.

For summer 2019 season (June through September), the liner was homeported in Dubai UAE (Port Mina Rashid) for short-breaks serving tourists mainly from India and Persian Gulf countries (especially Muscat and UAE). The regularly-scheduled Arabian Gulf itineraries included two weekly departures from Dubai (homeport) to Abu Dhabi UAE and Mina Salman Bahrain. The Monday itinerary visited Oman (Khasab and Muscat).


The cruise ship had a total of 837 staterooms (of which 36 Suites, 162 Balcony, 209 Inside) in 26 grades. Most cabins were 190-ft2 sized Oceanviews (436). Of all passenger accommodations, nearly 25% were with private (step-out) balconies. The largest were the Suites (560 ft2).

Pacific Jewel cruise ship

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The cruise liner has 5 dining venues. P&O AU recruited its first-ever celebrity chef manager (Luke Mangan) to add his touches to the food menu in the Salt Grill (steakhouse and seafood restaurant). The ship also has a dedicated chocolate cafe serving chocolate ravioli, warm chocolate fondant, Belgium waffles, gourmet cookies. The buffet restaurant, a la carte Main Dining Room and The Grill add more fine dining options. For a fee is the Asian La Luna Restaurant with an 8-course banquet. VIP dining is offered by the 14-seat "Chef's Table" package (in the Galley/kitchen).

Follows the complete list of Pacific Jewel restaurants and food bars.

  • Waterfront Restaurant (open-seating dining room; each of all three dining rooms on Pacific Jewel is operated with "Your Choice Dining" (a la carte) menus for breakfast and lunch, and offers a 4-course dinner menu. Tables seat up to 10 guests. Dining times vary according to sea/port days)
  • Chef's Table (in the Waterfront Restaurant's Wine Room; speciality dining venue with gourmet private dining and tour of the galley)
  • The Luna room (Asian-cuisine banquets; features Japanese and Thai specialities)
  • Salt Grill (reservations-only speciality restaurant via a partnership with Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan)
  • The Pantry (self-service buffet restaurant with an open-air terrace)
  • The "Shell & Bones" (a la carte pricing, at the rear of The Pantry)
  • The Grill (lido BBQ)
  • New Zealand Natural (ice cream bar).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The cruise ship features an exquisite Aqua Health (Spa and Fitness/wellness complex) that spans on 2 decks and is sized 1300 m2. It consists of 11 oceanview treatment rooms (for massages), Beauty Salon, Gym, Thermal Suite.

Daytime activities range from whiskey tastings and martini mixology classes to quilling and salsa dance classes. Passengers can enjoy karaoke, bingo and trivia games held daily. The daily onboard schedule on sea days is packed with activities. The poolside LED screen on Pool Deck is largely used for broadcasting full-length musical concerts, live sporting events, reality shows, movies.

Evening entertainment is standard cruise ship fare with a mix of guest entertainers and Broadway-style production shows. For kids, innovative activity clubs include Turtle Cove (ages 3-6-yo), Shark Shack (ages 7-10-yo) and HQ for teens. Adults can relax in the child-free Oasis on ship's top deck, while all ages enjoy the swimming pool on Lido deck and the adventures of P&OEdge program, held all over Jewel, with a climbing course on the funnel and a zip line across the top deck.

Follows the complete list of Pacific Jewel lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • Atrium (3-decks central open floor area and social hub)
  • Charlie's Bar; The Orient bar (English pub); MIX (speciality cocktails bar); Connexions Bar; The Cafe; Lido Pool Bar
  • Essentials Store; Tax and Duty-Free Shops; PANDORA shop (jewellery); Aqua Hut (snorkelling equipment)
  • The Marquee Theatre (2-decks, featuring large scale shows, magic and comedy acts; during the day, the theatre hosts Jackpot bingo games, trivia quizzes)
  • Wine Room (boutique winery)
  • The Big Screen (outdoor LED screen for movies, show programs, sports games)
  • The Dome (indoor observation lounge with floor-ceiling windows, large dance floor and a full-service bar; transforms into a disco nightclub in the evenings)
  • Players Bar and Casino
  • Expressions Studio (Photo Gallery and Shop); Art Gallery; Internet Library; Internet Cafe
  • The Oasis (adults-only relaxation complex)
  • Promenade (deck 7), 2 pools, 2 jacuzzis
  • Aqua HealthSpaFitness (Wellness Centre with Day Spa, Thermal Suites, Fitness Centre with a separate room for classes, Massage Rooms, Aqua Beauty Salon)
  • Fun Zone kids' centre; Teen- and Kids club lounges (offering complimentary activities by P&O youth programme: "Turtle Cove"; "Shark Shack"; "HQ" lounge; "HQ+" teen lounge)
  • P&OEdge Adventure Park experience ("high adrenalin" program with 20 different activities, such as climbing, jumping, racing, flying on ropes)
  • Jogging Track; Traditional deck games area (Deck Chess, Deck Quoits, Shuffleboard); Sports Court (basketball, volleyball, tennis); Table Tennis; Golf Nets, Lawn Bowls (outdoor bowling green).

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Pacific Jewel Wiki

The vessel’s flag-state/registry was changed in 1992 (from Palermo Italy to Monrovia Liberia), in 2000 (to Hamilton Bermuda), in 2002 (to London UK), in 2004 (to Genoa Italy), in 2007 (to London UK) and in 2019 (to Freeport Bahamas). For P&O, the ship's Captain was Alan Nixon.

Following the delivery to Jalesh Cruises India, in 2019 the MMSI was changed from 235051998 (UK) to 311000892 (Bahamas).

In early-June 2020, Jalesh Cruises API-integrated with three of India's largest travel agencies - Riya Travels (Ajmer, Rajasthan India), Akbar Travels (Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu India) and Jagsons Travel (Nagpur, Maharashtra India). The three companies specialize mainly in booking flights, holidays and B2B travel. Jalesh's API integration allowed the booking agencies to receive real-time updates on promotions, itineraries, cabin availability and pricing related to the cruise ship Karnika.

MS Pacific Jewel started its carrier under the name "Crown Princess" - operated by Princess Cruises from 1990 to 2002. Then for 2 years, it was operated as "Arosa Blu" by Arosa Cruises, then for 3 years as AIDAblu (AIDA Cruises) and for 2 years as "Ocean Village 2" (by Carnival's brand "Ocean Village Holidays"). In 2009, the ship was transferred to P&O Australia's fleet, renamed "Pacific Jewel" and homeported in Sydney NSW (leaving from "White Bay Cruise Terminal WHT5").

For PandO, the ship operated cruises on mostly roundtrips to South Pacific Islands ("Pacific Island Hopper" itineraries) visiting ports in Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, PNG-Papua New Guinea, Tasmania. On Queensland cruises, the ship visited Great Barrier Reef (Willis Island), while on short breaks went to Moreton Island. In the Southeast Asia region, feature destinations were Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore.

Pacific Jewel's Cruise to Nowhere deals was on specially-themed Australian roundtrips with no additional ports of call along the route. These short-breaks were usually themed "Food and Wine", "Music" (various styles/performers), "Comedy", "Sports". P&O Australia's "cruises to nowhere" prices were inclusive of all special activities and themed onboard entertainment, including classes and workshops, lectures, presentations, guest performances, theme parties.

In 2017, the liner replaced in New Zealand the fleet-leaving Pacific Pearl (now CMV Columbus), offering roundtrip Pacific Islands itineraries out of homeport Auckland NZ. Jewel was the first-ever cruise liner to visit the privately-owned Conflict Islands (Papua New Guinea) - in June 2016. This is a group of all 21 islands surrounding a blue lagoon with a pristine reef system. This made the new destination one of the perfect ones for snorkeling and diving excursions in the South Pacific. The Conflict Islands were part of P&O Australia's Papua New Guinea itineraries. The ship operated out of Melbourne (Victoria) (between November 2017 and March 2018) for 109 days, offering 18 voyages. A new 12-night NZ itinerary visited Fiordland Park and Stewart Island/Oban. Short Breaks were offered to Eden NSW and Kangaroo Island. In 2017, following Pacific Pearl's farewell, Pacific Jewel became PandO's New Zealand ship homeported in Auckland NZ for 2 months (Sept-Dec) and cruising to South Pacific Islands, before returning again in 2018.

In November 2017, P&O Australia operated the company's first-ever "Melbourne Cup Carnival" cruise from Auckland NZ. The 10-night itinerary "Emirates Melbourne Cup" also highlighted PandO’s inaugural season in New Zealand, with roundtrips from Auckland (September 1 through October 31, 2017). This sports-themed cruise attracted around 2000 NZ racing fans as part of the 6000-contingent of P&O AU guests cruising to "Melbourne Cup Carnival". Cruise fares included admission to the Thoroughbred horse race and transfers in Melbourne. Fares on the 10-night "Melbourne Cup" voyage started from AUD 1,342 pp (quad share) inclusive of entry and transfers to Melbourne Cup.

For Zen Cruises/Jalesh, Karnika ship's onboard hotel and administrative services (housekeeping, reception, payroll, health, food-beverage, vendor management, revenues collection) will be run by The Apollo Group via its subsidiary Apollo Ship Chandlers.

Pacific Jewel's last cruise for P&O was the 11-day repositioning Australia-Asia itinerary from Fremantle to Singapore.

Date / TimePort
01 Mar 16:00Departing from Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia
05 Mar 07:00 - 18:00Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
09 Mar 08:00 - 18:00Pulau Penang Island, Georgetown, Malaysia
10 Mar 08:00 - 16:00Pulau Langkawi Island, Malaysia
11 Mar 08:00 - 18:00Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
12 Mar 08:00Arriving in Singapore

Following the liner's official delivery to Jalesh (March 12), the repositioning cruise (Singapore to Mumbai) included as call ports Colombo, Cochin, Mangalore and Mormugao. In Singapore, the liner underwent an extensive drydock refurbishment at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard.

In late-March 2019, Jalesh Cruises’ signed a deal with BSCS (Bernhard Schulte Cruise Services GmbH & Co KG/subsidiary of the Singapore-based Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement Pte Ltd) for MS Karnika's technical management.

Pacific Jewel refurbishment 2018 review

Ship's last refurbishment on March 7-17, 2018 (10-day drydock in Garden Island Shipyard, Sydney NSW) resulted in the following deckplan changes:

  • All public areas were redesigned.
  • New outdoor bowling green (Lawn Bowls) was added on deck 14 (first introduced in 2017 on the fleet mate Pacific Explorer).
  • Shell & Bones restaurant was added on deck 12 (replacing "Salt Grill by Luke Mangan"). It serves locally-sourced seafood, grilled and vegetarian food.
  • Orient Bar (a signature club for live music and stand-up comedy shows on Deck 7) received new soft furnishings made from premium fabrics.
  • Connexions Bar (deck 7) received a new pub-themed decor featuring custom-printed fabrics.
  • The poolside Internet Cafe (deck 12) was redesigned and its menu upgraded (now offering Spanish-style snacks).
  • The Oasis (adults-only retreat located aft on deck 11) received new furniture (nautical-themed lounge beds).
  • The ship's Atrium was redesigned and received new soft furnishings, accessories and hand-made artworks.
  • Works also included general maintenance, hull repainting and adding new P&O Australia livery.

Cartoon Network Wave cruise ship (Pacific Jewel?)

On January 28, 2018, the US satellite TV channel Cartoon Network announced its plans to start its own cruise line brand - "Cartoon Network Wave". The new brand is a partnership between the parent company Turner Broadcasting (Time Warner) and Oceanic Group (Asia-Pacific based cruise and leisure industry). The Cartoon Network Wave cruise line will operate voyages to 13 Asia Pacific destinations, including China, Singapore, Malaysia.

Cartoon Network cruise ship (Pacific Jewel)

The colourful vessel will start its maiden voyage from Singapore in late 2018. On board will be provided one of the best kids-themed experiences at sea. It will feature 800 staterooms, 11 entertainment decks (hosting themed nights - including theme parties and circus shows), rope course (outdoor adventure park), "Young Tooniverse" (outdoor playground for kids), Toonix pool, cartoon-themed onboard activities and amenities (entertainment, food, drinks, characters meets&greets - The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, Ben 10, We Bare Bears).


The released artist’s impression images (based on the Pacific Jewel ship) resulted in speculations that the liner had been sold to the new company.

Cartoon Network cruise ship (Pacific Jewel)

However, PandO responded that the vessel stays in the fleet, with scheduled drydock refit and homeporting in Auckland NZ and Brisbane QLD.