In an historic first, Australia’s favourite cruise line P&O Cruises has launched a shout-out for Aussies to choose the names for its two latest ships.
The ships will join the cruise line’s existing fleet in November next year – and P&O Cruises wants Australians to decide what they should be called.
P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Tammy Marshall said it was fitting for Australia to name the latest ships, given Australian holidaymakers’ passion for cruising had made P&O Cruises the nation’s most popular cruise line.
Ms Marshall said it was the continuing popularity of the present three-ship fleet that prompted the cruise line’s decision to expand to five ships next year.
"We’ve been cruising from here for more than 80 years and we carry hundreds of thousands of Australians on holidays every year, so we think the time has come for Australians to put their stamp on our ships by choosing their names,” Ms Marshall said.
“We’re very excited by the idea and we can’t wait to see what names are put forward.”
While the last six P&O Cruises’ ships have all shared the word Pacific in their name – including the present fleet of Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl – Ms Marshall said the latest ships did not have to follow the same pattern.
“We’re looking for names that are modern and fresh and capture the spirit of a cruise holiday.
“Ideally there’ll be some connection between the names of the two ships, but we’ll wait to see what Australia comes up with.”
Australians can submit their ideas via the cruise line’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/POCruises with the successful names to be announced on July 9.
The person who provides the best names, along with a theme and a reason for their choice, will win a cruise for two on the inaugural cruise of one of the ships with a partner or friend, and will also be a special guest at the naming celebration.
The deployment of the two ships represents P&O Cruises’ biggest ever fleet expansion and will see the cruise line operating the largest fleet of cruise ships home-ported year round in Australia, with five ships sailing under its flag.
The additional ships, which will transfer to P&O Cruises from Carnival Australia sister line Holland America Line, will deliver much needed capacity in the world's fastest growing cruise market. Work is already underway to develop itineraries and home-porting arrangements for the expanded fleet, with details to be announced in the coming months.
Both ships are of a similar mid-range size to the three existing P&O Cruises ships, with a range of onboard features that will be tailored for Australian and New Zealand cruise customers.
For many decades Australia’s best-known cruise ships have been household names, with ships like Arcadia, Oriana, Canberra and Oronsay delivering great holidays and wonderful memories to tens of thousands of Australians.
In 1997, P&O Cruises introduced its first ship in Australia with a two-word name – Fair Princess – replacing the popular Fairstar.
Fair Princess was followed in 2000 by the first of the cruise line’s “Pacific” fleet – Pacific Sky. Then came three more ships with a celestial theme - Pacific Sun, Pacific Star and Pacific Dawn. The next two P&O Cruises’ ships - Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl - retained the Pacific reference but also reflected some of the attributes of their destinations in their names.
Across the world, as the cruise industry has boomed, more ships now feature multiple-word names, often including the cruise line’s name in their title.
Among the most famous ships in the world are the Cunard Queens, including the current triumvirate of Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
Close to 300 ship names are now featured in the current Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships – from Admiralty Dream to Zuiderdam. Fewer than 60 of those ships have single-word names.