In a second bout of seriously bad news for P&O's worldwide empire, P&O Cruises Australia's Pacific Sky has canceled five more cruises as a result of mechanical problems. The breakdown occurred earlier this month near the port of Noumea, six days into a 12-day cruise. The voyage was canceled and passengers were flown back to Brisbane.
According to a Carnival Corp. public statement (P&O Cruises Australia is one of its cruise lines), Pacific Sky will be out of commission until June, when it is anticipated to resume sailing its regularly scheduled South Pacific itineraries out of its homeport in Auckland, New Zealand.
The 46,000-ton, 1,200-passenger Pacific Sky was originally launched in 1984 by Sitmar as Fair Sky. The ship was re-dubbed Sky Princess when Sitmar was acquired by Princess Cruises. Its major distinction is that it was the last cruise vessel built as a steam ship.
This is the second major mechanical breakdown for a P&O ship. U.K.-based P&O Cruises, a sister cruise brand, was forced to cancel Aurora's 103-day world cruise earlier this year just 10 days into the voyage.