End of the line for P&O Cruises as owner Carnival calls time after 90 years


P&O Cruises Australia is set to be folded into parent company Carnival Cruise Line marking the end of the local cruise line brand after 90 years at sea.

P&O Cruises Australia will end its operations in March 2025, with P&O’s Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure ships to serve the South Pacific market under Carnival Cruise Line. P&O’s other ship, the Pacific Explorer, will be retired in February next year.

“As a result, all itineraries on Pacific Explorer scheduled to sail after 2nd March 2025 are being cancelled,” P&O Cruises Australia said in a statement.

“If you are booked on one of these itineraries you will be contacted by guest services in the coming days with refund details.

“We are all immensely proud of P&O Cruises Australia’s 90-year heritage of dedicated operations in the region, and Carnival Cruise Line are honoured to carry forward its storied legacy and continue to deliver the same onboard experiences and itineraries.”

Josh Weinstein, Carnival’s chief executive, said the company remained committed to the Australian market.

“Given the strategic reality of the South Pacific’s small population and significantly higher operating and regulatory costs, we’re adjusting our approach to give us the efficiencies we need to continue delivering an incredible cruise experience year-round to our guests in the region,” he said.

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said current itineraries for P&O Cruises will be run as usual.

“We look forward to building on the history and heritage of P&O Cruises Australia by bringing some of our innovations to more cruise guests in the region,” Duffy said.

“While we plan to make some technology upgrades and other small changes to the two P&O Cruises Australia ships, they will continue to be geared to the unique Australian market with a familiar feel and much of the same experiences for P&O Cruises Australia guests.”

Acting P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Australia leader Peter Little will switch to a new title of country manager.