Carnival Corporation has announced plans to significantly expand its market leadership in Australia, one of the fastest growing markets in the cruise industry.
With Australian cruise passenger numbers having increased 130 per cent in the past five years and projections of 800,000 cruise passengers in 2013 growing to one million by 2016, P&O Cruises (Australia) will add two ships to its fleet in 2015.
With a total of five ships, P&O Cruises will establish Australia’s largest year-round fleet and be well-positioned to continue meeting Australians’ surging demand for cruise vacations.
The expansion leverages Carnival Corporation’s industry-leading scale and underscores its strategy of increased collaboration among its ten 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.
This new ship will replace 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, chief executive 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.”
Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise operator in Australia and the only cruise company to have ships based full-time in Australian waters.
Over the past ten years Carnival Corporation has grown rapidly 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.