P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Encounter is sailing back today to its home in Australia after an overnight encounter with Pacific Adventure, its sister ship, in Trieste, Italy. The sisterly encounter of these newly added P&O Cruise ships is a highlight of the anticipated industry turnaround.
Pacific Encounter and Sister Ship, Pacific Adventure
Formerly known as the Golden Princess and Star Princess under Carnival Corporation’s Princess Cruises brand, the new additions to the P&O Australia fleet had a noteworthy encounter on June 29 in Trieste, Italy.
The two vessels that are now named Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure were berthed side-by-side in Trieste for the very first time. The special encounter was just prior to Pacific Encounter departing for her home in Australia to prepare for guest operations for P&O Australia for the first time.
Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure, transferred on October 22, 2020, to P&O Australia, are undergoing final preparations for joining Pacific Explorer, completing P&O Cruises Australia’s three-ship fleet.
Spending time apart, Pacific Encounter was dry docked for two weeks in Singapore, and the sister ship, Pacific Adventure, spent time dry docked at the Fincantieri shipyard in Trieste, Italy. The ships were then back-to-back wet docked in fashioning of their anticipated inaugural voyages as part of P&O Cruises.
The work aboard the sister ships included important technical upgrades and enhanced interior finishings. P&O’s iconic red, white, and blue bow that livery depicts the Southern Cross was also added to both, marking a cohesive front on all three ships.
With a guest capacity of 2,600, the 108,865 gross ton Pacific Encounter, will feature twin racer waterslides that guests will be able to enjoy in 2023.
The 108,865 gross ton ship, Pacific Adventure, has a capacity to hold 2,636 guests on its 12 passenger decks. Onboard guests will have several unique dining options such as Luke’s Burger Bar, curated by the celebrity chef himself.
Both ships highlight access to Byron Beach Club, a private retreat with pool, spas, and comfy seating, and a dedicated family pool area with loads of family-oriented activities, with an all-weather retractable roof.
Although both ships host several family-friendly options, guests craving a child-free experience can head to Oasis for a cocktail or visit the chilled-out vibe in the Ocean Bar.
Pacific Encounter will welcome her first guests on August 20, 2022, for a 7-night cruise departing from Brisbane, and Pacific Adventure will welcome her first guests on October 22, 2022, aboard a 3-night cruise from Sydney.
Pacific Adventure’s inaugural voyage will mark two years to the date that it was as transferred, alongside its sister ship, to P&O Cruises Australia.
P&O Cruises Australia’s Return to Service
P&O Australia’s Pacific Explorer was the first cruise ship to return to the Sydney Harbor in Australia on April 18, 2022, after two years due to the industry-wide suspension, that began in March 2020.
“We are seeing the evolution of P&O Cruises Australia as the nation’s homegrown cruise line and the results of its ambitious fleet transformation. As we prepare to welcome home Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure, we can also see that momentum is growing in the resurgence of cruising in Australia,” P&O Cruises Australia President, Marguerite Fitzgerald, said.
Welcomed by a traditional water cannon salute from three tugboats, Pacific Explorer’s arrival coincided with the lifting of the Australian government’s ban on cruising, which expired on April 17. The vessel returned to sea from Sydney in May 2022.
Returning to service after an over two-year pause, P&O Cruises Australia has yet another landmark in cruising and has been a pivotal part in the revival of Australia’s $5 billion a year industry.
P&O Cruises Australia has a 90-year cruising history in Australia and continues to hold monumental status as the first to return to sea after a 26-month ban.