P&O Australia has kicked off 2016 in fine style, announcing plans to build a new ship exclusively for the Australian cruise market. The new vessel will be the first cruise ship ever built specifically to serve in Australia, and is expected to arrive before the start of the 2019 cruise season.
As well as being the first purpose-built Australian cruise vessel, the new P&O ship will become one of the largest ships in operation Down Under — weighing some 135,500 tonnes and capable of carrying over 4,200 passengers. Releasing details of the ship on its website, P&O have revealed the new ship will be 323 metres in length with 2,100 guest cabins and staterooms, and will offer a mix of itineraries from a number of ports across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.
News of the new P&O Australia ship came as part of a global overnight announcement by Carnival Corporation, in which the organisation released details of a new memo of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build four new cruise ships for its global fleet.
Ann Sherry, executive chairman of Carnival Australia, who commissioned the new ship, said: “The much anticipated first newbuild cruise ship is a huge vote of confidence in the Australian cruise market with much of the 20 per cent year-on-year passenger growth over the past decade driven by P&O Cruises’ dynamic industry leadership.”
To be based in Australia on a year round basis, the new ship marks a continuous pattern of growth for the local cruise industry, as well as P&O Australia more generally. In 2015, the cruise line launched two new ships, with a further vessel expected in the near future.
Sture Myrmell, chief executive of P&O Australia, said: “P&O Cruises is the modern face of Australian cruising and, with such a proud heritage of leadership, it is a natural step to announce that the line will take delivery of its first newbuild ship.”
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Images sourced via P&O Australia. Credit: P&O