Global cruise operator Carnival Corporation has announced the launch of Pacific Eden cruises to the fleet of P&O Cruises’ brand, which will conduct its maiden voyage from Australia.

The 55,820t Pacific Eden is berthed in Fremantle this week, with final touches being made to the ship’s features ahead of its inaugural 10-night cruise.

With the new addition, UK-based P&O Cruises will have a total of five ships in its fleet. Earlier this year, the mid-range ships sailing as Ryndam and Statendam with Carnival’s Holland America Line brand, were also announced to be joining the P&O Cruises fleet.

"Western Australia is really coming into its own both as a cruise destination and a homeport, so we’re thrilled to have the capacity to be able to base one of our latest ships in Fremantle for the next two summers."

The new ship will undergo renovations to add on-board features similar to the three existing P&O ships, the Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl, intended for Australian and New Zealand passengers.

Pacific Eden is set to continue cruising from Fremantle for a season in 2016 and again in 2017. After sailing from Fremantle Pacific Eden will return in April 2016 to offer its first season of 16 cruises.

The ship will be home ported in Fremantle again from April to June 2017, offering ten cruises.

P&O Cruises senior vice-president Sture Myrmell said: "Western Australia is really coming into its own both as a cruise destination and a homeport, so we’re thrilled to have the capacity to be able to base one of our latest ships in Fremantle for the next two summers."

In the past five years, Australian cruise passenger numbers have increased by 130% and are estimated to grow to one million by 2016.