Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Two Holland America S-Class Ships Will Leave Fleet to Join P&O in Australia
The expansion leverages Carnival Corporation’s industry-leading scale and underscores its strategy of increased collaboration among its 10 brands, as the two ships will be transferred from the company’s Holland America Line brand to become part of the P&O Cruises fleet. In the meantime, Holland America Line is building its latest and largest ship, to be delivered in February 2016. The new Pinnacle Class ship will be 99,500 tons and carry 2,660 passengers, replacing the capacity of the two vessels moving to P&O Cruises in Australia.
“Australians know a good thing when they discover it, and that speaks to why taking a cruise has become the most popular vacation experience in the Australian tourism industry,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “By any measure, Australia is one of the top performing cruise markets in the world, with an eye-popping average annual passenger growth rate of 20 percent over the past decade.”
Over the past 10 years Carnival Corporation has grown rapidly in the Australian market with its local fleet increasing from two full-time ships, both with P&O Cruises, to six full-time ships from three of the company’s brands—three P&O Cruises ships, two Princess Cruises ships, and one Carnival Cruise Lines ship. In 2015, with the addition of two ships to P&O Cruises, and the return of Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess full-time, that number will increase to nine. The company’s ships sail from five Australian cities as well as Auckland in New Zealand. During the past summer cruise season in Australia, the company had a record 20 ships from across seven of its brands sailing in Australian waters.
The two S-class ships being added to P&O Cruises, currently sailing as ms Ryndam (pictured above)and ms Statendam in the Holland America Line fleet, are mid-range in size, similar to the three existing P&O ships in Australia—the Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel, and Pacific Pearl. The ships will be completely refurbished to offer a new level of comfort and style and will include onboard features tailored for Australian and New Zealand passengers. Full details will be announced in coming months. Having a five-ship fleet will give P&O Cruises greater flexibility in its increased offering of short-break cruises, traditional cruises to the South Pacific and cruises to new destinations such as Papua New Guinea and Asia. The ships will join the P&O Cruises fleet in November 2015 and itineraries are being developed for the expanded fleet.
Carnival Corporation’s portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia are comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia), and P&O Cruises (UK). Together, these brands operate 101 ships totaling 212,000 lower berths with seven new ships scheduled to be delivered between fall 2014 and summer 2016. Carnival Corporation also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.
Posted by Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva