P&O Cruises Australia announced today a second Grand Class ship will join the family while bidding farewell to one of its “jewels” as part of the cruise line’s commitment to refresh the fleet over time.
Carrying more than 3,100 guests, Star Princess will join her sister ship, Golden Princess, in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet from the end of 2021.
Star Princess will replace the much-loved and considerably smaller Pacific Jewel, which will leave P&O Cruises in March next year, by which time she will have served the brand for almost 10 years.
President of P&O Cruises and Carnival Australia, Sture Myrmell, said welcoming two Grand Class ships – Star Princess and Golden Princess – was part of the evolution of the P&O Cruises fleet.
In September last year, P&O Cruises announced its plan to refresh its fleet over time, continuing to evolve the guest experience and creating economies of scale necessary to compete effectively in today’s environment.
“Pacific Jewel has been a jewel by name and by nature. I feel sentimental farewelling a much-loved ship but excited for the future because the addition of two bigger ships is a game-changer for P&O Cruises and its guests,” Mr Myrmell said.
“P&O Cruises is all about offering a great value cruise holiday that celebrates modern Australia across food, entertainment, activities and service delivered in a contemporary setting. We are ensuring P&O Cruises has the right ships for a contemporary brand operating in a competitive market.”
Mr Myrmell said P&O Cruises would continue to base ships year-round in its key homeports of Sydney and Brisbane as well as offering seasonal sailings from other Australian states and New Zealand.
A transformed Golden Princess will join the P&O Cruises fleet in October 2020 while her sister ship, Star Princess, will join P&O Cruises at the end of 2021.
Pacific Jewel’s final voyage will depart from Melbourne on 24 February, 2019 before being transferred to a new operator following her sale.
P&O Cruises will assist guests affected by deployment changes to make alternative arrangements, including their choice of:
Rebooking on equivalent or near equivalent cruises on other P&O Cruises’ ships
Offering a choice of alternative cruises on other ships in the P&O Cruises’ fleet where a near equivalent match is not possible
Providing a full refund to guests for whom no alternative cruise choice is suitable (any guest whose cruise is cancelled can choose to obtain a full refund).
P&O Cruises will contact all guests over the coming weeks to provide further information on alternative options.
“We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause some guests and will work hard to find alternatives for those whose holiday plans are affected. We also thank guests for their patience because it is likely to take some weeks to put everything in place but we hope this good news will be well received by our loyal guests,” Mr Myrmell said.
Dedicated telephone and email channels have been established for guests who have questions related to an affected cruise: