Evening cabaret style dinner-and-show entertainment, waterslides and a number of new outdoor top-deck activities will feature among refreshed designs of existing features onboard P&O Cruises’ forthcoming new ship Pacific Explorer.

Revealed to the cruise industry and media at an event in Sydney last night, the ship which currently sails for Princess Cruises as Dawn Princess will be taken to Singapore and undergo a significant transformation into the newest member of the P&O Cruises family. Unveiled last night, Pacific Explorer will take some of the popular elements of its soon-to-be fleet-mates Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden and with slight tinkering to fit the increased space, become the new flagship for the quintessentially Australian cruise brand.

On its debut in June 2017, Pacific Explorer will easily claim the mantle – for now – of the largest ship in the P&O fleet, catering to 2,000 passengers per sailing. She will be able to sail underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, meaning her regular home base will most likely be the White Bay Cruise Terminal, just across from Darling Harbour.

P&O Cruises president Sture Myrmell said Pacific Explorer will, along with Aria and Eden, was the “next step in the evolution of P&O Cruises in Australia”. Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting features of Pacific Explorer. The complete album can be found on the Cruise Advice Facebook page.

Water Park

The first water park to ever appear on a P&O Cruises ship, this facility will be partially indoor and outdoor, built in and around the ship’s top deck and funnel, however passengers will be well shielded from the ship’s exhaust fumes which will be emitted well above them. The indoor area will be aimed at children, featuring oversized water toys and a dumping bucket.

Outside, Pacific Explorer‘s water park will feature two water slides – one featuring exciting twists and turns and another fitted with LED lights to create an illuminated and futuristic kaleidoscope of colour and sound as passengers rocket down to the slide’s exit.

Back towards the front of the ship, the P&O Edge activity park will again feature with many unique outdoor activities including a funnel climb and flying fox, with other top deck activities available such as barefoot bowls and bocce.

New Pizza Restaurant

Partnership talks are continuing between P&O Cruises and a major culinary identity yet to be revealed over a new Italian pizzeria, which will be located at the top of the Central Atrium.

Dubbed ‘A Slice of Italy’, the eatery will allow diners to order individual pizzas, while share platters of other contemporary Italian dishes will be available for groups to enjoy. Elsewhere, the P&O Pantry food court – which replaced the buffet on the rest of the fleet – will return in an expanded form, with a ninth outlet, Nic & Toni’s, serving Mediterranean style cuisine. More casual poolside dining will come in the form of a new Lobster & Burger Bar, located by the Lido Pool, which will serve lobster and seafood rolls as well as beef and pulled pork burgers.

Redesigned Salt Grill by Luke Mangan

Supremely popular already on the line’s five existing ships, Salt Grill by Luke Mangan will take pride of place in Pacific Explorer‘s dining arsenal, this time positioned higher and overlooking the Lido Pool. The venue will take on a similar menu but will feature a greater seating capacity in order to better cater to the higher passenger contingent.

Elsewhere, the ship will be fitted with P&O’s new staple offerings Dragon Lady and Angelo’s – all included in passenger fares – with a new look bar area bridging the space in between. Modern Australian food will also be available at the main Waterfront dining room, while the ship will also offer Summer Pub, designed to reflect something you’d find in a regional NSW country town, providing a comfortable venue to enjoy a drink and watch some sport on TV.

Black Circus Cabaret Club

P&O Cruises has taken alternative evening entertainment in a direction not seen before in the Australian cruise industry, with The Black Circus – a cabaret club concept which will invite guests to enjoy dinner and a show in one venue. Seating options will include private pairs to be shared by two guests through to booths able to seat groups of four passengers and up. Entertainment will vary from alternative theatre productions through to jazz and musical groups and comedy acts.

“We’ve taken the winning features of our existing ships, then added a whole new layer of excitement with some big wow moments like the waterslides as well as new concepts like the bowling green and a stunning hidden bar, which we think will put a smile on our guests’ faces,” Myrmell added.