Just over a year from launch, P&O Cruises Australia has revised the inaugural sailings of the next ship to join its Australia fleet, Pacific Explorer. What was previously six voyages to Queensland and the South Pacific have been remodelled into four longer itineraries to the South Pacific, aimed at affording guests a greater opportunity to get to know the newest member of the P&O fleet, which currently sails at Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess.

Guests who had been booked on the cancelled voyages are being contacted and invited to move to alternative sailings.

The six round-trip sailings originally scheduled but which have now been cancelled include:

  • 22 June 2017 – Four night cruise to Moreton Island.
  • 26 June 2017 – Seven night sailing to the South Pacific.
  • 03 July 2017 – Four night cruise to Moreton Island.
  • 07 July 2017 – Three nights ‘Christmas in July’ cruise to nowhere.
  • 10 July 2017 – Eleven night voyage to the South Pacific.
  • 21 July 2017 – Seven night sailing up the Queensland coast.

The new sailings scheduled for this period are now:

  • 22 June 2017 – Ten night sailing to Vanuatu & New Caledonia
  • 02 July 2017 – Eight night cruise to New Caledonia
  • 10 July 2017 – Ten night sailing to Vanuatu & New Caledonia
  • 20 July 2017 – Eight night cruise to New Caledonia

Pacific Explorer is expected to see P&O Australia’s most significant refit yet, with insiders close to the line suggesting features never before seen on an Australian based ship are being developed, including a new show lounge that will host a “dinner and show” concept.

Additional features slated to debut on what will become the largest ship in the P&O fleet are expected to include an expanded activities selection in the P&O Edge adventure program, new dining venues and two ‘adults only’ pool zones. An outdoor nightclub is also pegged to be added in the refit, as well as a reworking of public spaces to focus on a small & intimate feel.

The ship is already a firm local favourite in the market, having been based in local waters since 2008. In her time with Princess Cruises, she is credited with being the first vessel to spend an extended season based in Melbourne in addition to operating multiple world cruises from Australia. She sails on her final voyage flagged as Princess Cruises on 14 May 2017 on a one-way, two-week journey from Fremantle to Singapore via ports in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia where she will undergo her transformation.