Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria are set to leave P&O in 2021, with a much bigger ship to join the fleet. Pacific Encounter will be the new name for Princess Cruises' existing 3000-passenger Star Princess when the ship switches brands.
The 1500-passenger Pacific Dawn will depart in Feb 2021, while the 1200-passenger Pacific Aria's final voyage will be in April 2021. (Update: Both ships have been sold to CMV, with Dawn to be deployed to the UK market and Aria to Germany.)
The surprise update on P&O’s fleet transformation comes amid preparations for Pacific Adventure's arrival in 2020.
It means the Australia-based line will again have only three ships from late 2021, down from its previous high of five, but with a similar total capacity of about 9,000 passengers.
“When we embarked on this transformation two years ago, we committed to refresh the fleet over time and to set the brand up for continued success," he said. “P&O’s Pacific Adventure will be introduced with the our distinctive look and feel along with some new onboard features that means P&O Cruises remains the driving force for cruising in Australia and New Zealand."
Myrmell also paid tribute to Aussie cruisers' favourites Aria and Dawn. “It is always sad to farewell much loved ships. Both ships are close to our hearts with Pacific Dawn particularly special to us and the many thousands of guests who have sailed on her.”
Pacific Dawn's last cruise will depart Melbourne on February 8, 2021 sailing to Singapore via Brisbane. Pacific Aria's last cruise will depart Melbourne on April 9, 2021 to Singapore via Fremantle. Shorter sectors are available for sale on both final voyages.
Passengers on the ships' cancelled cruises will be offered alternative arrangements including a full refund if no other suitable cruise option can be found.