Holland America Line’s two oldest ships, ms Ryndam and ms Statendam, are scheduled to be transferred to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet in November 2015, according to an announcement made by P&O Australia.
The surprise announcement came late Monday evening from P&O Cruises Australia. The line states the transfer of the two ships comes at a very important time for the Australian cruise market, as the industry expects to see record cruisers take to the seas from “Down Under” over the next few years.
“Australians know a good thing when they discover it, and that speaks to why taking a cruise has become the most popular vacation experience in the Australian tourism industry,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “By any measure, Australia is one of the top performing cruise markets in the world, with an eye-popping average annual passenger growth rate of 20 percent over the past decade.”
The addition of the two new ships will solidify P&O Australia as the largest cruise line in Australia and New Zealand, offering guests a wide variety of itineraries throughout the year. The addition of the two new ships will allow P&O Australia to further expand their itinerary offerings throughout the South Pacific.
Prior to the two ship’s entrance to the P&O Australia fleet, each ship will be refurbished and reconfigured to add features tailored for Australian and New Zealand passengers. Full details of the renovations will be announced in the coming months.
According to Holland America Line, the exit of the Ryndam and Statendam from the fleet will be offset by the introduction of the line’s new Pinnacle Class ship, scheduled to debut in February 2016.