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P&O Cruises Australia brand to fold

The P&O Cruises Australia brand is set to fold its local operations next year.

In a statement released on Tuesday, it was revealed that the iconic 90-year-old cruise line will fold into Carnival Cruise Line from March, 2025.

Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, said the move has been made to leverage its scale “in an even more meaningful way by absorbing an entire brand into the world’s most popular cruise line”.

“P&O Cruises Australia is a storied brand with an amazing team, and we are extremely proud of everything we have accomplished together in Australia and the broader region,” Weinstein said.

“However, 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.

“Carnival Corporation & plc remains committed to Australia and we will continue to be the largest cruise operator in the region with 19 ships calling on 78 destinations and representing almost 60% of the market.”

After the brand is retired next year, the Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure ships will be rebranded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, added: “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.

“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.

“The most notable change will be the availability of our popular HubApp, enabling guests to make online dining and excursion reservations, request food and beverage delivery, and chat with other guests, among other features.

“P&O Cruises Australia guests will also be invited to participate in Carnival’s loyalty program and promotional offerings specific to Carnival ships sailing in the region.”

The announcement comes only months after P&O unveiled a new brand platform via Supermassive. The creative agency was enlisted only in August last year to reposition and relaunch the cruise line.

Mumbrella has contacted Supermassive for comment.

More to come.

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