Pacific Explorer Promo from P&O Cruises Australia

P&O Cruises Australia is set to welcome its latest ship, the Pacific Explorer, when she arrives in Sydney next week following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment.

According to P&O, the former 77,000-ton, 1,950-passenger Dawn Princess was transformed into a P&O ship with the help of more than 1,000 contractors who spent over 200,000 hours fitting 25,000 square meters of new carpet and painting 10,000 square meters of walls before installing over 3,000 items of new furniture and 1,200 pieces of artwork.

Similar to sister-ship Pacific Dawn, the Explorer has been fitted with waterslides and an interactive water park. One slide is transparent so that spectators can watch guests shoot through its twists and turns, while the other slide is multi-colored, with music pumping through it to give guests a high-impact ride to the bottom.

The Pacific Explorer will also wear the signature Southern Cross livery emblazoned on her hull, which was also debuted by the Dawn in March this year.

New and exclusive to the Explorer are two new 'fast-casual' dining options: Luke's, a poolside grill by Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan, and 400 Gradi, a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria by award-winning Melbourne chef Johnny Di Francesco.

The ship is also featuring a new small bar, The Bonded Store, featuring a cocktail list created in partnership with Sydney-based award-winning Archie Rose Distilling Co, as well as whisky and gin-making classes.

Guests will also be able to dine in the ship's Waterfront Restaurant, try a taste of la dolce vita in its Italian restaurant Angelo's, relax in the atmosphere of the pan-Asian restaurant Dragon Lady or in The Pantry, an international marketplace of nine fresh food outlets already popular across the fleet.

Cruise line President Sture Myrmell said in a prepared statement that the Explorer is the next stage in the evolution of P&O, building on its modern Australian holiday offering with some exciting new features.

“We've taken the winning features of our existing ships and added a whole new layer of excitement with some big wow moments like the waterslides and the bowling green and The Bonded Store, which we're sure will put a smile on our guests' faces. It really will be a ship that offers something for everyone and we can't wait to show her off to our guests," he commented.

The Pacific Explorer's cruises include an 8-night, A Taste of New Caledonia cruise departing Sydney on July 20, 2017. Fares start from $835* per person quad share.