P&O Cruises Australia has said that it will be extending its rolling pause in operations in New Zealand. Departures on and before April 25th 2021 have been cancelled. The cruise line said that it and the wider industry continued to work with government and public health authorities on the appropriate time to restart sailing.
The cruise line, which has based ships in Auckland for many years, said that it would return to New Zealand for a dedicated 150-day season in July 2022.
P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said that “we know that much better days lie ahead and we remain positive about the resumption of cruising. While we’ve paused operations, P&O Cruises, together with the wider industry has been using the time wisely to plan for cruising’s return”.
Myrmell said that “as we work towards this goal, we wanted to provide our Kiwi guests with as much certainty as possible and flexibility around their 2021 bookings and an opportunity to reschedule their cruise holiday for 2022 or beyond.”
Initially scheduled to start sailing from Auckland from February 6th 2021, Pacific Explorer’s operations were previously paused to March 4th 2021 and are now paused to April 25th.
In Australia, Pacific Adventure (IMO 9192351) is currently scheduled to begin sailing from Sydney on April 30th 2021.
In September 2018, after hosting an online naming contest, P&O announced Golden Princess would be renamed Pacific Adventure and debut in October 2020, featuring modified accommodations and onboard facilities designed in-line with the P&O brand. Equasis and Marine Traffic still have the ship’s name recorded as the Golden Princess.
In December 2015 Carnival Corp, the owner of the P&O Australia brand, announced it had ordered a new 4,200-passenger ship from Fincantieri for Princess’ sister brand, P&O Cruises Australia. The new ship, scheduled for delivery in 2019, would become P&O’s first-ever new-build vessel and its largest ship overall in the fleet. However, in December 2016, the order for the new ship was transferred to sister brand Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) in exchange for Carnival Splendor joining the P&O fleet instead. Then in September 2017, Carnival decided on a further fleet realignment, announcing that the Golden Princess would transfer to P&O, with Carnival Splendor continuing to operate for CCL.
Pacific Encounter (registered with Equasis as the Star Princess, IMO 9192363) is due to call Brisbane home from May 7th. In August 2018 P&O Cruises Australia, announced that Star Princess would be transferred to the P&O fleet in late-2021, joining sister ship Golden Princess. It also announced in November 2019 that the ship would be renamed Pacific Encounter upon joining the fleet. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Carnival Corp accelerated the transfer of Star Princess from Princess to P&O in October 2020, cancelling all the final voyages the Star Princess was originally scheduled to sail for Princess through 2021.
The extended pause in operations from New Zealand also affects previously scheduled cruises on the Pacific Explorer (IMO 9133966).