P&O Cruises Australia has marked what it called a "record year of local cruising with its expanded five ship."
P&O said its capacity is up 55 percent since the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden joined the fleet in late 2015.
The Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden have carried a total of 160,000 guests from seven regional ports- Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Cairns and Singapore.
The introduction of the two ships allowed P&O to open Cairns as a homeport for the first time in September and saw the return of Singapore as a homeport.
In 2016 alone, P&O cruised to 17 new ports with Pacific Eden making the bulk of the maiden calls including the first visits to Honiara and Gizo Island in the Solomon Islands;Sabang, Ujung Pandang, Jakarta and the fascinating volcano port of Probolinggo in Indonesia; Langkawi in Malaysia; Phuket, Krabi, Ko Chang and KohSamui in Thailand and Cambodia’s Sihanoukville. P&O now visits more than 90 ports in the region.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden marked a new era for Australian cruising.
“As Australia’s only homegrown cruise line, P&O is proud to be leading the way inlocal cruise innovations. Not only did Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden introduce a new contemporary look and feel for our cruise line, their arrival made it possible to extend our itinerary offering like never before and build a wide range of new destinations into our schedules,” Myrmell said.
“It was a big leap to expand our capacity by more than 50 per cent but we knew the demand was there and as Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden have cruised from ports right around Australia, their stylish look and exciting itineraries have helped to entice more Australians to take a cruise holiday.”