P&O Cruises Australia has announced the name of the next gem in its growing fleet - Pacific Pearl.

The 63,500-tonne superliner will join the cruise line the end of 2010. The itinerary is being finalised with cruises set to go on sale from March this year.

Pacific Pearl will be P&O Cruises' fourth ship, sailing alongside its two existing ships, superliner Pacific Dawn and the 47,000-tonne Pacific Sun, as well as its incoming superliner, Pacific Jewel, which will join the fleet in December this year.

"We wanted to choose a name for our next ship that reflected the magic of cruising the waters of the South Pacific," Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia which operates P&O Cruises, said.

"It was a difficult decision but we chose Pacific Pearl as the name of our next superliner because it evokes these wonderful and tropical images of the places we visit.

"Pearls are such beautiful jewels and are also synonymous with Australia and this region so it seemed a good fit for this next step in the growth of our business.

"We know Pacific Pearl, along with her sister Pacific Jewel, will prove winners with Australians and New Zealanders alike given their superb features and their great size."

Presently sailing as Ocean Village in the UK, Pacific Pearl will undergo a refurbishment before she is deployed to Australia.

The superliner will carry around 2000 passengers and offer a range of features including multiple swimming pools, restaurants and lounges, as well as private balcony cabins.