New cruise ship under construction for P&O, Princess and Costa

In breaking news announced last night in Italy, Carnival Corporation, parent company of P&O Cruises Australia has announced the first ever brand new cruise ship to be built for year-round cruising from Australia, due for delivery in 2019.

The 4,200-passenger ship will be nearly double the size of anything currently in the P&O fleet or in its immediate pipeline and will be the seventh vessel in the fleet. It will feature 2,100 staterooms and offer itineraries ranging in duration from three to ten days.

The line took delivery of its fourth and fifth ships Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden last month, with a sixth – Pacific Explorer – due to join the fleet in May 2017.

Yet to be named, the new ship will mark a new era in Australian cruising, with P&O promising new features that according to Carnival Corporation Chief Executive Donald Arnold, will “reflect the innovation of Modern Australia”, designed with the Australian passenger in mind.

P&O’s new ship will be a part of an upgraded “Dream Class” with similar designs currently in operation for sister brands Carnival Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. Common design elements of Dream class vessels include 14 decks of amenities and passenger facilities including over 1,800 staterooms, Grand Prix simulators and 4D cinemas.

New ship being built at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard
Yet another cruise ship taking shape at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy

The forthcoming addition to P&O’s growing fleet was announced as part of a four-ship order which will also include two new ships flagged under fellow Carnival Corporation brands Costa Cruises, both to be deployed in China, and one for Princess Cruises – the fourth Royal Class ship in a line which includes the existing Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess.

Carnival Corporation said each of the four ships will “be specifically designed and developed for the brand and guests it will serve”.

“These ships will be great additions to our fleet that support our goal to exceed guest expectations and create great vacation memories for each guest onboard our ships,” Donald commented.

“The much anticipated first newbuild cruise ship is a huge vote of confidence in the Australian cruise market with much of the 20 per cent year-on-year passenger growth over the past decade driven by P&O Cruises’ dynamic industry leadership,” Carnival Australia Chief Executive Officer Ann Sherry added.

Today’s announcement completes the brand allocation to a full complement of nine ships announced back in March this year. The total now sees four ships destined for Italian line Costa Cruises, two for German brand AIDA Cruises and one each for P&O Australia, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line – its second Pinnacle class ship. Of the nine in total, five ships will be built by Italian builder Fincantieri while four more will be constructed by the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Germany.

Four of these nine ships have already been confirmed to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas  (LNG) – the cleanest-burning fuel at sea. It is unclear whether the remaining five ships will also adopt LNG as their power source.


  1. 4,200 passengers is far too big for the Australian market. Unless Australia has a massive population explosion in the next three years, I can see the new vessel sailing pretty well half full and the cabins not sold going into mothballs. The only way this vessel will work is to reduce the number of ships P & O has or to introduce a much more exciting calendar of cruises and stop going to the same ports all year round.