May 25th, 2018 by Jordan Bailey
P&O Cruises has announced that the largest ship ever built for the UK cruise market will be named Iona. Launching in 2020, Iona will be designed for a new generation of cruising. The 180,000 ton ship will offer more choices of accommodation, more places to dine in style, more spaces to relax, more entertainment, and more freedom for the 5,200 guests onboard.
The announcement was first made to a room full of travel agents and industry leaders at the annual CLIA Cruise Conference in Southampton.
Speaking of the new name, Paul Ludlow, Senior Vice President of P&O Cruises, said: “Last year we announced that we were going to take suggestions for the name of the new ship for P&O Cruises, and we were just overwhelmed by the response that we had. Over 30,000 people sent in suggestions of what we should call our new ship.”
“There was around 5 or 6 people that called this name. A lady called Gillian from Dundee was the person that was picked out by Stephen [Mulhern] to be the person to officially name our new ship.”
“Iona is a island in the inner Hebrides off the north west coast of Scotland. About 150 people live in Iona, but it’s beautiful. Everywhere you stand on the island you can see the sea, which was part of our thinking when we designed our new ship. One of the things we wanted to do when we designed our ship was to really make the sea the star, whether it be in our atrium or the giant dome on the upper decks of our ship. The sea will be visible from all points of the ship and really gives you a connection. So that was part of our thinking, but of course Iona is part of the UK. P&O Cruises is Britain’s favourite cruise line. We couldn’t think of a better [way] to name our ship after a part of the UK. It’s a celebration of the sea.”
The Dome is a major new entertainment hub that will be one of the star attractions on the new ship. Featuring an impressive glass roof, pool and a retractable stage. The Dome will be the perfect place for entertainment, relaxation and informal dining. At night, the area will come alive with aerial performances and immersive shows. The atrium is set to be P&O Cruises boldest and brightest yet. It will be the signature heart of the ship, spanning three decks and glass walls letting natural light flood in while a grand staircase, gallery, and overhead walkways will provide dramatic focal points. P&O Cruises new ship will certainly deliver the WOW factor. Offering new levels of entertainment, dining, and relaxation. The ship will also feature a host of innovative features and cutting-edge technology.
Ludlow, continued: “This ship is really going to give our guests more choice than they’ve ever experienced before, so whether it be bars or restaurants, or entertainment venues. Really what we wanted to do when we designed this ship was to think about creating a holiday experience for everybody. So whether you’re on a couples holiday, or with your family, multi-generational holiday, we want to make sure that this is a destination that everyone’s going to enjoy. So we needed to make sure we’ve got lots of choice for people when they come onboard.
“We will reveal all of the details of the ship over the next couple of years before she comes into Southampton.”
Iona’s maiden cruise season will go on sale in September. Sign up to our email updates here to be the first to know details on the new sailings.
February 12th, 2018 by Jordan Bailey
At 143,000 GT and with a capacity of 3,647 passengers, Britannia is P&O Cruises newest flagship vessel. Launched in 2015 and named by the Queen, Britannia is the largest ship ever built specifically for the British cruise market. Let’s take a look around…
Britannia has over 12 passenger decks, filled with amazing facilities and spacious accommodation, perfect for the modern British holidaymaker. There are over 10 places to dine and unwind, 7 fantastic entertainment venues, and 8 bars to socialise. Decks 5, 6, and 7 are where most of the onboard venues are located. The atrium is the heart of the ship, and the glistening Starburst sculpture is the main focal point.
Britannia has three stunning main restaurants – Meridian, Peninsular, and Oriental – serving classic British cuisine and regionally inspired dishes. The Meridian and Peninsular Restaurants are dedicated to those on Freedom dining. Freedom dining offers the most flexibility, allowing you to simply turn up at anytime to eat. You won’t get the same table each night with the same waiters like the traditional dining at set times in the Oriental restaurant. The Horizon is the buffet restaurant onboard Britannia serving up popular comfort food, and themed dishes. If you’re by the pool and feeling peckish, the Lido Grill offers burgers, fish and chips, pizza and ice cream. If you’re looking for a special treat, why not experience one of the many speciality dining venues onboard Britannia. The Epicurean is the pinnacle of fine dining and using the very best ingredients. Enjoy exquisitely prepared Dover Sole or taste the most succulent 28 day dry aged beef sirloin. For the ultimate indulgence, treat yourself to Eric Lanlard’s sensational afternoon tea at The Epicurean. This is an experience not to be missed, with delicious sandwiches, and tempting cakes. Sindhu uses the rich flavours of India and combines them with unique British twists conceived by celebrity chef Atul Kochhar. If you love the finest wines, The Glass House has an impressive selection of over 40 wines handpicked by award-winning wine expert and foodie, Olly Smith. You can enjoy wines by the glass or by the bottle, or why not pair wines with the great food also on the menu here. The Limelight Club is an adult-only venue which combines great food and exclusive live entertainment.
When it comes to entertainment, Britannia has it all. From dazzling West End style performances in the Headliners Theatre, to comedy shows and cabaret in The Live Lounge. There’s music to be enjoyed throughout the ship. The Crystal Room is a stylish lounge, with a large dance floor, perfect for flaunting those dance moves! Why not take part in one of the dance classes, if you’re feeling a little rusty? The Studio has many uses. From cookery demonstrations and a cinema showing the latest popular movies, to a lecture room hosting some of the most fascinating guest speakers. If you want to improve your cooking skills and learn new things, then The Cookery Club will be ideal for you. Learn techniques from the skilled chefs onboard, and on selected cruises learn from the man himself, TV chef James Martin. Cookery classes include the Best of British and how to make the perfect Cornish pasty, a chocoholics dream making delicious desserts, as well as a class dedicated to baking the best bread.
There’s never a dull moment on P&O Cruises’ Britannia. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. From lively deck parties to the traditional deck quoits and shuffleboard. If you’re looking to unwind, Britannia is perfect or that too. The giant Oasis spa complex houses various treatment rooms, a salon, and a hydrotherapy pool. Speaking of pools, Britannia has 5 of them. The Serenity Pool is an adult-only haven, with plush seating, spacious loungers, and a quiet place to relax. If you’re looking for a luxurious relaxation experience, head to The Retreat. Enjoy spa treatments with a sea breeze, or sit back and relax on one of the inviting cabanas, with a smoothie or fruit platter.
There’s accommodation to suit all budgets and requirements. From great value inside cabins, large family rooms, spacious balcony cabins, luxurious suites, and dedicated single cabins too.
If you would like more information about a P&O cruise aboard Britannia, call us on 0800 368 9059. Have you been on Britannia? Tell us what you loved most about the ship. Leave your comments below.
January 26th, 2018 by Jordan Bailey
P&O Cruises has announced a second new ship will be joining the fleet in 2022, becoming the largest cruise ship to be built exclusively for British cruisers – a title it will share with P&O’s yet-to-be-named sister ship set to arrive in 2020.
With a capacity of 5,200 guests, the 180,000 GT next generation Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered cruise ship will offer a range of innovative new features and experiences on board, with stylish interiors, amazing dining options, and ground-breaking entertainment.
P&O Cruises Senior Vice President, Paul Ludlow welcomed the announcement of a second new ship for the British market. He said:
“We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet. The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.
“In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22 percent capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers. Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing onboard and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for, while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers.
“This evolution of the guest experience will be evident over the next few years but will be underpinned throughout with in-depth market insight and feedback we receive from the best source: our current, past and prospective guests.
The first of P&O’s two new ships is set to go on sale in September with key elements of the design and build to be announced in the coming months.
January 22nd, 2018 by Jordan Bailey
With its pleasant climate, enriching destinations and great value cruise fares available, Dubai and the Arabian Gulf is growing in popularity among European holidaymakers. In 2019, P&O Cruises will introduce a series of new sailings aboard Oceana departing from Dubai. While the majority of P&O Cruises sailings depart Southampton, Oceana is no stranger to offering fly cruises for the cruise line. For the last few years the ship has spent most of the year offering attractive Mediterranean cruises from Malta.
From a 21 or 30 night re-positioning cruise from Southampton to Dubai via the Suez Canal, a 21-night Dubai to Malta sailing or the regular 10 night sailings to the best ports in the Arabian Gulf. There will be a selection of itineraries to suit everyone. The best part of a P&O Cruises fly cruise holiday is that flights and transfers are already included in the price, so there’s no hassle of finding suitable flights or budgeting additional costs.
As you arrive in Dubai for your cruise, you’ll be amazed at the metropolis of gigantic skyscrapers that line the ever expanding skyline of Dubai. A visit to the Dubai Mall will be any shopping lovers dream. From high end fashion and the latest technology, to amazing food and even an aquarium – it has it all! Take a trip to the top of the largest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. At 160 storeys tall, this probably isn’t one for those with a fear of heights.
Located in the small island country of Bahrain, Manama is full of wonder and diversity. If you’re keen to learn about the island nation’s past, a visit to the Bahrain National Museum is essential. For other architectural and cultural wonders, head to the grand Al Fateh Mosque, Beit Al Quran, or any of the country’s well preserved forts.
You’ll have an overnight stay to enjoy all the great attractions in the second largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Thrill-seekers and Ferrari lovers should head straight to the Ferrari World theme park. The iconic red building houses exhibits about Ferrari’s past, indoor rides for the family, and thrilling roller coaster, including the world’s fastest launch roller coaster, Formula Rossa which reaches speeds of 140mph and does 0 to 60 in 2 seconds out beating even the fastest racing car! Why not book an exciting shore excursion and head out of the city on an off road desert safari.
Sir Bani Yas Island
Step off your ship and onto an island oasis. Resting on the crest of a salt dome created millions of years ago, is an expansive nature reserve which covers half of the 34-square-mile island. The Arabian Wildlife Park is home to lush vegetation and 13,000 animals indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula.
The capital of Oman is home to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the main mosque in Oman and one of the most impressive in the world. The Al Alam Palace has distinct blue and gold pillars, and is one of six royal residences of the current ruling monarch, Sultan Qaboos. Although off limits to the public, it is still a popular place to visit. The traditional Arab Souq market is popular for buying beautiful textiles and jewellery.
Khasab is often referred to as the ‘Norway of Arabia’ due to its fjord-like inlets and mountainous coast. Relax on a dhow cruise, a traditional wooden boat. Soak up the sun and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, and keep a look out for the dolphins!
Dubai is a very large place, so chances are you didn’t see everything you wanted to during your visit to the city at the start of the cruise. Enjoy another glorious overnight stay in Dubai aboard Oceana, before your flight back to the UK the next day. Relax on Jumeirah Beach, explore the bustling markets or enjoy a desert safari and a BBQ under the stars.
For more information about P&O Cruises range of Arabian Gulf itineraries click here, or call 0800 368 9059 to discuss cruise options.
December 22nd, 2017 by Jordan Bailey
P&O Cruises are the pioneers in the cruise industry, after all, they invented the concept and can trace their roots back 180 years. With ships to suit all types of cruise holidays, and sailings to a variety of destinations, it’s no surprise that P&O Cruises is the most popular cruise line in Britain.
Variety of Ships
When Adonia – the smallest ship in the fleet – leaves the company in early 2018, P&O Cruises will have 7 spectacular cruise ships, all offering something uniquely different.
Britannia – The largest and newest ship currently in the fleet, Britannia entered service in March 2015. The ship is perfect for families, with dedicated children spaces, a cookery club, cinema, sports area, as well as dazzling West End style shows.
Azura – Launched in 2010, Azura is a large ship, which can also retain it’s intimacy. With several restaurants, bars, and facilities, there’s never any reason to be bored whether your on for 7 nights or 17.
Ventura – Similar in many ways to Azura, but embodying a unique persona, Ventura is a large family resort ship, ideally suited for all weather climates thanks to having three outdoor pools, and an indoor solarium. Deck space is in abundance, and cabins are spacious and pleasantly designed.
Arcadia – Arcadia is P&O Cruises’ largest adult-only cruise ship. Arcadia offers a relaxed onboard experience, with simple, yet stylish interiors, and exterior glass-fronted lifts.
Oceana – With it’s grand atrium, stunning public spaces, and large pool deck, Oceana is a medium-sized family ship, with a big personality.
Aurora – Launched for the millennium, Aurora uniquely and perfectly combines tradition with modern cruise expectations. Public spaces are sizeable, yet intimate, and diverse. The main pool areas offer shelter from the rain and wind, as well as prime sun bathing deck space.
Oriana – The oldest ship in the fleet, Oriana offers a traditional and relaxing cruise experience for adults only.
Adonia – The smallest and most exclusive ship in the fleet, Adonia offers longer and immersive destination focused itineraries around Europe and the Caribbean. Carrying less than 800 passengers, the ship more closely resembles a floating country house than a cruise ship.
From a short 2-night break, right up to a full World Cruise, there’s an itinerary perfect for everyone. All eight of P&O Cruises ships predominately sails from Southampton for the majority of the year. In the winter, some ships head on a grand world voyage, while other ships make the trip to the Caribbean to offer fly cruises from the region, while a small number of ships remain in Southampton throughout the year. For the summer months, Oceana makes the Mediterranean its home offering fly cruises from Malta. In 2019, Oceana will also begin operating Middle East cruises from Dubai.
P&O Cruises offers varying prices to suit all budgets. The Saver Fare will allow you to set sail for the cheapest possible price, but you won’t be able to select your cabin, or dining preferences. P&O’s Select Fare is slightly more expansive, but offers added value. the Select Fare gives you the choice to pick your cabin and dining preferences, as well as the choice of complimentary onboard spending money, car parking in Southampton, or return coach travel to Southampton on cruises of 7 nights or more.
December 5th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey
P&O Cruises’ Oceana and Arcadia are receiving a ship-wide refresh, bringing much welcomed enhancements to two of P&O’s popular mid-size cruise ships. Here’s everything you need to know about the work that is taking place.
The elegant, intimate, and adult-only Arcadia entered the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg in November 2017. Some of the areas that underwent notable refurbishment include:
- Aquarius Pool & Bar: This area benefited from a brighter colour scheme, and furnishings, including updated chairs, tables, and wall tiles.
- Atrium: Arcadia’s main three-deck-high atrium and reception area, saw changes to a number of items, including carpets, chairs, and cushions, giving the whole area much more of a ‘wow factor’ it deserves.
- The Belvedere Restaurant: New tiled flooring creates a sense of flow in the buffet area, while teak on the walls and a marine-toned colour palette provide a distinctive maritime feel.
- The Piano Bar: A fresh new colour palette of teals, soft greens and neutrals lifts the mood during the day, and a new lighting scheme strikes a nostalgic note when the sun goes down.
- Suites: Arcadia’s range of suites have a new warm and inviting feel. New furniture – including sofa beds, armchairs, and coffee tables – creates a comfortable ambience to relax in.
Arcadia will sail around Europe and the Caribbean before heading off on her World Cruise in January 2018.
The spacious and family-friendly Oceana will emerge from a refurbishment in mid-December 2017. Some of the areas that will undergo notable refurbishment include:
Terrace Bar: A new colour scheme, lounge furniture and feature tiling will create a retreat-style space. Hot tubs will be refurbished and a new canopy offering shade over the pool and bar area will be added.
The Plaza: The main social space on the ship will see new carpets, tiling, furniture and a fresh colour scheme, which will help create a distinct identity between the dining spaces and lounges.
Magnums: The Champagne bar will glow with a new luxurious colour scheme. New bar stools, lounge chairs, and sofas will enhance this elegant venue.
Yacht & Compass: In addition to a new dance floor, the bar will benefit from a strong new identity inspired by the nautical decor.
Youth spaces: The children’s clubs will receive updated entertainment equipment, soft-play features for younger cruisers, and redecorated walls.
When she returns from her refurbishment, Oceana will offer cruises to Europe and the Caribbean, before kicking off brand new Dubai & Arabian Gulf fly-cruises in early 2019.
To see the new enhancements for yourself, speak to one of our friendly sales team today on 0800 368 9059 who will be happy to help you book your next P&O Cruises holiday.
November 30th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey
A cruise is the perfect type of holiday to choose for all the family to enjoy. On cruise there is something for everyone, from children clubs and play parks for the little ones, to rock climbing walls and unlimited ice cream for the teens, to adult-only retreats, spas, and fantastic entertainment. Choosing not just the right cruise line for your family needs, but also the right ships is important. Here are 5 top cruise ships we recommend for that dream family holiday…
Symphony of the Seas
The largest cruise ship in the world launches in 2018. Symphony of the Seas is filled with fun activities and amazing experiences. Sailing in the Mediterranean from Barcelona during summer 2018, the ship will then reposition to Miami for the winter months. There’s everything you could ever think of on this behemoth. From ice skating and rock climbing, to a zip line, traditional wooden carousel, Hairspray The Musical, and a robotic bartender. This truly is the ultimate cruise ship for families.
Top things for Children: Adventure Ocean youth club, Splashaway Bay water park, traditional carousel, mini golf, AquaTheatre
Top things for Teens: Starbucks,The Living Room teen lounge, basketball, Ultimate Abyss slide, Flowrider surf simulator
Top things for Adults: Solarium, Central Park, Rising Tide Bar, Bionic Bar, Vitality at Sea Spa
Also why not try: Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas
Norwegian Escape is one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest ships. There are plenty of things to do onboard.
Top things for Children: Splash Academy youth club, video arcade, family slide, mini golf, aqua park
Top things for Teens: Aqua Racer, ropes course, Entourage teen lounge, Dolce Gelato, hot tub
Top things for Adults: Headliners Comedy Club, Spice H20, 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, Food Republic, The Supper Club
Also why not try: Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway
Independence of the Seas
Independence of the Seas is one of the most popular cruise ships sailing from the UK. Set sail for fun from Southampton and enjoy all the wonderful activities onboard. In early 2018, Independence of the Seas will receive an extensive makeover, which will add many new features, such as waterslides, laser tag, and a trampoline park.
Top things for Children: Trampoline park, Splashaway Bay, Adventure Ocean youth club, Sugar Beach Candy & Ice Cream Store, waterslides
Top things for Teens: Laser tag, Studio B ice rink, Fish & Ships, Escape Room, rock climbing wall
Top things for Adults: Solarium, Vitality at Sea Spa, Chops Grille, Casino Royale, cantilevered whirlpool
Also why not try: Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas
P&O Cruises flagship Britannia is a family friendly ship based out of Southampton. P&O is the most popular cruise line in the UK, and Britannia – the largest cruise ship built specifically for the UK – caters to all ages.
Top things for Children: The Reef youth club, children’s play area, deck games
Top things for Teens: Pizzeria, The Studio cinema, Lido Pool, Arena sports court, ice cream parlour
Top things for Adults: The Retreat, The Cookery Club, Oasis Spa, The Glass House, Limelight Club
Also why not try: Azura, Ventura
The newest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet has just launched. MSC Seaside is a revolutionary new cruise ship which will offer Caribbean cruises from Miami. The ship has been designed to maximise deck space, and with a wide promenade deck, plenty of sun lounging space, and a Miami beach condo inspired aft pool area, this is the perfect ship for relaxing in the sunny climates of the Caribbean.
Top things for Children: Arcade games, bowling, Doremiland, Forest Aquaventure Park, Club Logo
Top things for Teens: F1 simulator, zip line, poolside movie screen, XD cinema, Infinity Bridge
Top things for Adults: MSC Aurea Spa, South Beach Pool, Champagne Bar, Sports Bar, Waterfront Boardwalk
Also why not try: MSC Seaview
As you can see, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on a cruise. These are just five family cruise ships to enjoy, but there are plenty more ships and amazing activities we haven’t mentioned. Speak to one of our friendly sales team today on 0800 368 9059 to book your next family cruise!
November 21st, 2017 by Jordan Bailey
Christmas is all about spending time with the family, and creating magical, lasting memories. Imagine no slaving over the stove, no washing up, and instead more time spending time with those that matter most. Setting sail on a festive cruise with P&O Cruises is the perfect way to enjoy a stress-free and an unforgettable Christmas. Unwrap your Christmas presents on Christmas Day from somewhere in the middle of the sea, surround yourself in decadent decorations and enjoy a traditional British Christmas Dinner.
October 9th, 2017 by Jordan Bailey
P&O Cruises offers some of the best curries at sea, and to celebrate National Curry Week, P&O's Food Hero Atul Kocchar shares his top ten tips to cooking the perfect curry at home.
1: What essential spices should a curry enthusiast keep in their spice box?
For the basics, you'll need good garam masala, black peppercorns, chilli powder, tumeric, ground coriander, and coriander seeds. I also recommend to keep some onion paste and giner-garlic paste in the freezer to save time.
2: What's the best way to store spices?
Keep spices in an airtight container (preferably stainless steel), away from direct sunlight. If stored properly, whole spices can last nine to 12 months, while powdered spices can last up to six months. Buy spices in small quantities and use them as often as you can. That way you don't end up with a cupboard full of stale spices that won't deliver on flavour.
3: Is it best to use freshly ground spice or pre-ground varieties?
If possible, grind them freshly for the best results. Pound whole spices in a pestle and mortar and you’ll release their fragrant oils and flavour.
4: Any top tips on heating up oil and spices to release the best flavour?
Frying spices in hot oil means you get as much flavour out of them as possible. Check the oil is hot enough by dropping a little spice in. If it sizzles, you can add the rest of the spices. You only need to cook spices for about a minute - be careful not to burn them, as they’ll turn bitter. Slow down the cooking process by adding onions, or whatever the next stage in your recipe is.
5: How do you chop onions and keep your eyes from stinging?
The sharpness of the knife matters. As soon as you bruise the onion it releases a series of chemical reactions. A sharp knife will cause less damage to cell walls and fewer irritants will be released - so you won’t cry so much.
6: What one gadget do you recommend investing in and why?
For the best results with spices and flavour, I recommend an electric spice grinder or a trusty pestle and mortar.
7: How hot is too hot? What’s your take on the use of chilli?
Too hot is when you can’t taste any of the ingredients in the dish. My rule of thumb is to cut a chilli in half and use a teaspoon rather than a knife to scrape out the seeds (the hottest part of the chilli). And remember, never touch your eyes afterwards.
8: What simple and effective ‘finishing touches’ do you suggest to make a plate of curry sing?
I like to garnish a curry with chopped coriander and green chillies and a pinch of fresh powdered garam masala – delicious! Always taste before serving and adjust accordingly.
9: What’s the best bit of advice your mother gave you in the kitchen?
"Success without struggle is absolutely useless; failure is a very important feeling to be able to enjoy success".
10: What one piece of advice would you pass on to budding curry chefs?
Always know your onions! Cooking onions to use in Indian food is a technical skill that takes years to perfect.
Spain, France & Italy
13 April 2018 | 14 nights | Azura
Southampton - Alicante - Barcelona - Toulon - La Spezia - Civitavecchia - Cartagena - Gibraltar - Southampton
Prices from £1049pp
Portugal & Canary Islands
21 April 2018 | 13 nights | Ventura
Southampton - Madeira - La Palma - Gran Canaria - Tenerife - Lanzarote - La Coruna - Southampton
Prices from £899pp
Spain & Portugal
4 May 2018 | 7 nights | Ventura
Southampton - Vigo - Lisbon - Oporto - St Peter Port - Southampton
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Portugal & Spain
20 July 2018 | 7 nights | Ventura
Southampton - St Peter Port - Oporto - Lisbon - Vigo - Southampton
Prices from £659pp