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Beloved Aussie cruise line P&O Cruises to vanish after almost 100 years

P&O Cruises Australia is shutting down after nearly a century of voyages.

One of Australia’s most popular cruise liners is set to vanish next year. P&O Cruises Australia announced it would be shutting down after almost a century of operations.

Parent company Carnival Cruises confirmed the popular brand would cease to exist and its operations would be folded into its sister line, Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival cited “high operating and regulator costs” as the reason behind the move.

The Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventures ships will continue to sail under the Carnival Cruise Line, but the Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet.

Are you impacted by the P&O Cruises Australia shut down? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com

P&O Cruise
P&O Cruises Australia will be shutting down early next year. (Source: Getty)

Carnival CEO Josh Weinstein described P&O Cruises Australia as a “storied brand with an amazing team”.

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"We're leveraging our scale in an even more meaningful way by absorbing an entire brand into the world's most popular cruise line," Weinstein said.

“Given the strategic reality of the South Pacific's small population and significantly higher operating and regulatory costs, we're adjusting our approach to give us the efficiencies we need to continue delivering an incredible cruise experience year-round to our guests in the region."

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But Weinstein said the company wasn’t forgetting about Aussies and would continue to be the biggest cruise operator in the region with 19 ships calling on 78 destinations and representing nearly 60 per cent of the market.

Current itineraries will continue to run as usual and there will be no changes to itineraries in 2024.

Guests will be notified in the coming days of any changes to future bookings as a result of the announcement.

Notably, all itineraries on Pacific Explorer cruise lines scheduled to sail after March 2, 2025 will be cancelled.

Customers booked on one of these itineraries will be contacted by guest services in the coming days with refund details.

Yes. Customers booked to travel on the impacted itineraries will be offered a full refund, or the option to receive a Future Cruise Credit with bonus onboard spending money.

If you want to receive a full refund, you don't need to do anything. P&O Cruises says it will automatically cancel your booking and process a refund.

If you want to accept the Future Cruise Credit, P&O Cruises says you need to complete an online form by midnight Sunday, June 30.

There won't be any immediate changes for passengers in terms of their travel experience on a P&O Cruises.

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said the company would be building on the “history and heritage of P&O Cruises Australia”.

“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,” Duffy said.

The most notable change will be the availability of the HubApp, Duffy said, which allows guests to make online reservations, food and beverage requests and chat with other guests.

P&O Cruises travellers will also be able to use Carnival's loyalty program.

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