Carnival Cruise Line to Absorb P&O Australia in 2025

Pacific Encounter

Carnival Corporation today announced that in March 2025, the company will sunset the P&O Cruises Australia brand and fold the Australia operations into Carnival Cruise Line, according to a press release.

The Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure ships will be rebranded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line brand while the Pacific Explorer will exit the fleet in February of 2025, the company said.

This change is the latest in a series of what Carnival said were strategic moves designed to increase guest capacity for Carnival Cruise Line, the company’s flagship brand and the highest-returning brand in Carnival Corporation’s global portfolio, the company said.

This will result in the addition of eight new ships to Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet since 2021, including the shift of three vessels from sister brand Costa Cruises. In addition, the company recently placed its first new ship order in half a decade for two new Excel-class cruise ships to join Carnival Cruise Line in 2027 and 2028.

“Despite increasing Carnival Cruise Line’s capacity by almost 25% since 2019 including transferring three ships from Costa Cruises, guest demand remains incredibly strong so we’re leveraging our scale in an even more meaningful way by absorbing an entire brand into the world’s most popular cruise line,” said Josh Weinstein, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation.

“In 2019, Carnival Cruise Line was 29% of our total capacity, and when we complete this move early next year, Carnival Cruise Line – our highest-returning brand – will make up approximately 35% of our total global capacity. While our company’s overall growth between 2019 – 2028 is projected to be less than 2% (CAGR), the majority will be for Carnival Cruise Line, which will grow by approximately 50% over that time period.”

In addition to further optimizing the composition of Carnival Corporation’s global brand portfolio, the realignment will strengthen the company’s performance in the South Pacific through numerous operational efficiencies, the company said in a statement.

“P&O Cruises Australia is a storied brand with an amazing team, and we are extremely proud of everything we have accomplished together in Australia and the broader region,” said Weinstein. “However, 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. Carnival Corporation & plc remains committed to Australia and we will continue to be the largest cruise operator in the region with 19 ships calling on 78 destinations and representing almost 60% of the market.”

For P&O Australia, current itineraries will operate business as usual, and guests will be notified in the coming days of any changes to future bookings as a result of this announcement.

When the transition is complete next year, Carnival Cruise Line will have four ships in the market, including Sydney-based Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa sailing seasonally from Brisbane, in addition to their new sister ships Encounter and Adventure.

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