has announced that it is to expand its operations in Australasia on the back of rising passenger demand.
Coming just days after the Star Princess liner arrived into the port of Auckland to mark the start of this year's summer season, P&O has confirmed that it will use the New Zealand city as the base for its upcoming super-ship, the Pacific Pearl.
The new ship will arrive into the city in December 2010, in time for the peak of next summer's season, thereby helping to boost the number of passengers enjoying a Pacific cruise out of the country.
Welcoming the news, New Zealand's prime minister John Key said: "This is a big vote from the cruise ship market."
He added that it also serves to justify the ongoing investment in the facilities at Queen's Wharf in Auckland, where a new luxury passenger terminal is being constructed.
At the same time, New Business Review has reported that Carnival Australia and New Zealand, P&O's parent company, has announced that it is to bring 11 ships to New Zealand over the coming season, across five of its brands.
Among the highlights of a cruise of New Zealand is Milford Sound, a fjord on the South Island, which is widely regarded as one of the natural wonders of the world.
Written by Chris Smith