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Carnival's Duffy Down Under: P&O Australia takeover 'quite a surprise'

FILE PHOTO CRUISE_Christine_Duffy_greeting_pax.jpg
Christine Duffy is in Australia this week explaining to travel agents and passengers the decision to absorb P&O Cruises Australia into Carnival Cruise Line
Speaking to Seatrade Cruise News in Sydney, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said the announcement the brand is to absorb P&O Cruises Australia in March came as ‘quite a surprise’ to some.

Duffy is Down Under to explain the move to travel agents and passengers.

She said the takeover was a big decision that was not taken lightly by Carnival Corp. & plc.

End of an era

It will be the end of an era.

The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company pioneered regular mail services from England to Australia in 1852 with the 699-ton barque-rigged iron-screw steamer Chusan.

The Orient Steam Navigation Company, which was to merge with P&O in 1960, entered the Australian market in 1866 with the 1,000-ton Orient.

The first P&0 cruise out of Australia — a five-night round trip from Sydney to Norfolk Island — was made by Strathaird on December 23, 1932.

Cost a factor

Duffy said cost was a ‘big headwind’ that helped lead to the decision to absorb the P&O Australia ships, given higher operating and regulatory costs and operating a small brand that can’t move its vessels out of the region.

Staff downsizing

‘Unfortunately, there will be downsizing of staff,’ she said, ‘but we will maintain an office here (Sydney).’


Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure will be renamed Carnival Encounter and Carnival Adventure

Carnival Encounter and Carnival Adventure

She said Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure will have new Carnival Cruise Line livery and will be renamed Carnival Encounter and Carnival Adventure.

Duffy declined to name the new owner of Pacific Explorer at this stage.

Added benefits

She said the experience onboard the former P&O ships will be the same, with some added benefits, as earlier reported, like the availability of Carnival’s Hub app and the opportunity to participate in Carnival’s loyalty programme.