Pacific Sun sold to Chinese company
Carnival Australia has announced major changes for next year, including the sale of P&O’s Pacific Sun and upgrades to Dawn.
Passengers booked on Pacific Sun from 8 July 2012 will need to switch cruises or get a refund as the ship has been sold to an undisclosed buyer.
According to Cruise Weekly sources, the 25 year old, 1,900-passenger superliner was recently purchased by a Chinese company, which is likely to launch new cruises out of China towards the end of next year.
A spokesperson for P&O would not confirm the rumour, saying: “Details of the buyer and the price are not being disclosed by Carnival Australia and are matters for the buyer to consider.”
Sun has been with the P&O fleet for more than seven years and will operate its final local voyage, from Brisbane to the Pacific Islands, on 1 July 2012.
Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, said many past passengers would want to sail for the last time on “Australia’s favourite cruise ship” to say goodbye.
“We will be happy to welcome them onboard as Pacific Sun completes her proud service with P&O Cruises,” she said.
Cabins are still available for several sailings departing from Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle between January and June 2012.
Sherry said Pacific Sun had made a big contribution to the growth of the local cruise industry and had introduced thousands of people to cruising.
“It is thanks to her popularity that we have grown so quickly and successfully,” she said.
P&O Cruises is currently assisting passengers affected by the sale to rebook onto other ships or to receive a full refund if no alternative cruise choice is suitable.
Meanwhile, the Queensland-based Pacific Dawn will undergo a major refurbishment in April, adding interconnecting family cabins and a giant entertainment screen on the top deck.
The ship’s 50 suites and mini-suites will also be upgraded with new furnishings, carpets and artworks. Public areas to be revamped include the buffet, show lounge and two bars – Bengal Bar will be transformed into the sports-themed Orient Pub, and Baccus Bar will become Mix cocktail bar.
Announcing the changes, Sture Myrmell, vice president of hotel operations at Carnival Australia, said the changes would give Dawn some of the most popular features found on other P&O ships, such as Pacific Pearl and Jewel.
Cruise Weekly, 20 December 2011.