Global cruise operator Carnival Corporation is planning to expand its market in Australia, with the addition of two ships in a bid to meet the country’s growing demand for cruise vacations.
The two ships will be added to the fleet of P&O Cruises (Australia), which is one of Carnival’s ten brands. P&O Cruises will have a total of five ships in its fleet in 2015.
Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said: "Today’s news also underscores how P&O Cruises, which pioneered cruising in the country more than 80 years ago, has been the driving force in making cruising one of the most popular vacation experiences in Australia."
"We have a great understanding of what Australians are looking for in a vacation, and with cruising more popular than ever among Australians, this is the perfect time to meet demand with increased capacity."
Currently, the mid-range ships are sailing as Ryndam and Statendam with Carnival’s Holland America Line brand, and will join the P&O Cruises fleet in November 2015.
Similar to the three existing P&O ships, the Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl, the new additions will undergo renovations to add on-board features intended for Australian and New Zealand passengers.
In the past five years, Australian cruise passenger numbers have increased by 130% and are estimated to grow to one million by 2016.
Meanwhile, Holland America Line will receive a new 99,500t Pinnacle-class ship in February 2016, which will serve as areplacement for the two vessels.
Image: Pacific Jewel is part of P&O Cruises’ fleet of three ships currently based in Australia. Photo: courtesy of Carnival Corporation.