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Sarah on Oct 29, 2015

The P&O fleet continues to grow.

P&O Australia has a lot of changes on the horizon. With the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden joining the fleet very soon, the line could be forgiven for taking a breather on the growth front - but instead they are forging ahead, with a recent announcement that Princess Cruises' Dawn Princess will move to join the P&O fleet in early 2017. The ship will be renamed the Pacific Explorer to match the monikers of her soon-to-be fleetmates.

The elegant ship will be a great addition to the P&O fleet, carrying 2,000 passengers over 14 decks. It also has more than 400 balcony staterooms, a touch which we are sure will appeal to P&O cruisers. What's more, the Dawn Princess is already well-acquainted with the waters of Australia and New Zealand, having cruised Down Under since 2009.

The CEO of parent company Carnival Australia, Ann Sherry, says the move represents an investment in the Australasia-focused P&O brand as more and more locals are becoming interested in cruises as a way to holiday. "Australia is the world's fastest growing cruise market, so as the biggest cruise operator Down Under we're delighted to be expanding our local presence even further. These fleet changes will help us further increase the range of exciting cruise options on offer to Australians and continue to meet local demand for holidays at sea."

The new name was announced over Labour weekend, along with a few details regarding what we can expect onboard the Pacific Explorer. In keeping with the rendered images we have seen of the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden designs, the Explorer will feature contemporary and stylish public spaces, with a boutique resort feel in the pool areas. She will also contain many of P&O's revolutionary eateries which they are in the process of rolling out: The Pantry food market, Angelo's Italian and Dragon Lady specialty restaurants and a revitalised Waterfront Restaurant with modern Australian food and decor.

Pacific Eden rendering

The line also says that the Pacific Explorer will take entertainment to the next level - so we look forward to more detail in that regard as the move draws closer.

P&O Australia's Senior Vice President Sture Myrmell said of the upcoming addition to the fleet: "Just as we're preparing to welcome Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden next month, we're thrilled to have another ship on the horizon that will continue the exciting evolution of our modern Australian cruise product. We have grand plans for Pacific Explorer and we think her new features are going to cause a lot of excitement in the local industry."

We look forward to finding out more about this exciting new cruise industry development in our part of the world! What do you think of the Dawn Princess becoming the Pacific Explorer?

I have enjoyed visiting as much of the world as possible over the years. Europe and the Mediterranean are personal favourites, but there is so much to see very close to our little Australasian corner of the globe- one of my top travel experiences was snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles in New Caledonia! Cruising is a fantastic way to see it all, and we hope to make booking a cruise easier for both first-timers and old salts. From ship tips to destination news and views, we will keep you up-to-date. Happy cruising!

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