After months of anticipation, the time has finally come – the ships that will become Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden are starting their dry docks in Singapore as P&O Cruises prepares to expand to a record five ship fleet.
Over the next three weeks, more than 900 contractors from 43 different nationalities will work around the clock to transform the ships, which are set to become game changers for the Australian cruise industry.
The work starts on Pacific Eden today with the ship docking at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard this morning, while Pacific Aria arrives on October 31, in what will be Singapore’s first ever double dry dock.
The extensive nature of the work means about 250,000 man hours will be spent on the ships. Each ship will spend 11 days in dry dock with work continuing as they sail to Australia in November.
During dry dock, each ship will receive an estimated 20,000sqm of carpet, 2500sqm of wall covering, more than 300 pieces of art, 2500 pieces of furniture and 2500 signs, as well as 500 litres of paint.
About seventy 12-metre shipping containers are waiting at the shipyard, filled with an assortment of nearly 5000 products ranging from forks to furniture.
Dwarfing the humble weekly grocery list, P&O’s shopping bill for both ships is more than 430 A4 pages long and includes purchases ranging from 47,000 glasses to 74,000 pieces of china and 30,000 items of cutlery.
As well as the walls being decorated, shelves stocked and drawers filled, the ships will be reconfigured with Australian power points and beer taps will be installed in preparation for their new home down under.
Pacific Eden is scheduled to emerge from dry dock on November 3 and will cruise via Fremantle and southern Australia en route to Sydney Harbour for her dual naming ceremony with sister ship Pacific Aria on November 25. Pacific Aria will leave dry dock on November 12 sailing straight to Sydney.
P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Sture Myrmell said the 1500-guest ships would set a new path for the local industry with stunning new features including luxe bars, a plush private dining room, a resort-style pool deck, contemporary dining including Luke Mangan's Salt grill and some of the most spacious rooms across the fleet.
“We can’t wait to introduce Australians to Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden. They’re unlike anything we’ve ever seen in these waters – they’re stylish but relaxed, just like modern Australia, so we think local cruisers will love them,” Mr Myrmell said.