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Almost a year ago I did a post about an announcement of a new ship for P&O Australia. The announcement said that it would be 135,000 tons and would be deployed in 2019. Here’s a link to that post.

Unfortunately for P&O Australia, Carnival Corp has changed its mind. There’s been a press release today in which it was announced that P&O Australia would get a “3,000 passenger ship in 2019”, and that this decision was the result of a “Global cruise market review”. This sounds good….. but on reading the press notice fully, it emerges that that the 3,000 passenger ship will actually be the refurbished Carnival Splendor. She was built in 2008 and has a tonnage of 113,000, and by the time she’s transferred to P&O Australia in 2019 she’ll be over 10 years old.

So is this transfer in addition to the 135,000 ton newbuild? No. That ship will go to Carnival Cruise Line, to replace Carnival Splendor. So instead of a shiny new 135,000 ship, P&O will get an 11-year old 113,000 ton ship, albeit refurbished.

The reason for all this seems to be the outcome of the global cruise market review. The press notice says a couple of interesting things; one is a hint that all may not be as rosy in the P&O Australia market as hoped, and the other is a statement of some issues over infrastructure capability. On the first point the press notice says “…P&O’s desire to grow its position in an increasingly competitive market was the core reason for the change in plans…” (my emphasis). That suggests to me that they’ve decided that they can better support a 3,000 passenger ship than the 3,500 passengers (or more) that the larger newbuild would offer. On the second point the press notice bluntly says “It is increasingly apparent that the improvement of cruise ship infrastructure in Australia and across the Pacific is not moving as fast as we had hoped to support a ship the size of the new build we had intended for the fleet in 2019“. I think that means that the larger newbuild ship would have presented challenges that the region’s current infrastructure would not be able to meet.

Here’s a link to the Carnival Corp press release.

2 Responses to “No new ship for P&O Australia after all….”

  1. Paul Taylor says:

    Hi Tom, very interesting reading about the happenings down under, and what
    Adonia has been doing, I have just booked a 15 night cruise on her next year,
    September 17th Cruise D717 from Southampton.

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Paul

      Just one thing – as of now (18 December, 5:15pm) I’m not seeing a D717 cruise on the P&O site. There’s a D716 from 10 Sep to 17 Sep, and there’s a D718 from 2 October to 14 October, but there appears to be a 15-night gap between them. Can you give me some more information?

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