P&O Cruises

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

P&O Cruises cruise line logo

P&O Cruises fleet

Review of P&O Cruises

Both P and O cruise lines belong to a huge international company, but are world known as the “Britain’s favorite cruise line”. P&O cruise lines deals are mostly on cruises departing from Southampton UK and Sydney AU. Both P&O lines are part of the Carnival Group of cruise companies, all fully owned by Carnival Corporation & PLC. P&O is under the management of Carnival UK. Our survey is integrated with P and O cruise ships and P&O itineraries.

P&O cruises deals are relatively costly, delivering in return the authentic British style and luxury to the very last penny of each pound. P&O cruise package deals are offered almost for all sailings, with slightly raising of the fares, but conveniently assuring the comfort of a care-free sea ship vacation.

P&O Cruises logo

P&O Cruises (UK) – a British-American cruise ship line with headquarters at Carnival House, Southampton, England; operated by Carnival UK. P and O was originally constituent of “Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company”- the oldest in the world cruise line, which in the 19th century operated the first ever passenger ships. P&O Cruises is sister company of P and O Cruises Australia.

In 2000 P&O Cruises was excluded from P&O group, and became P&O Princess Cruises subsidiary. In 2003 P&O Princess Cruises merged with Carnival, forming Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises operates seven vessels and the cruise ships’ total passenger capacity is over 15,000, holding market share of 5% of worldwide cruise lines. 

P&O created P&O Cruises Australia and P&O Cruises in 1977, thus re-branding the passenger division. P&O Arcadia was the first adults only cruise ship in its fleet, followed by Adonia. In 2005 Adonia was replaced by Arcadia- Vista class design! Previous Arcadia was renamed Ocean Village after she was transferred to “Ocean Village” new brand.

P&O Cruises Britannia cruise ship

Aurora, Oriana’s half-sister ship, entered service for P and O in April 2000. Externally Aurora is much similar to Oriana, but internally she is quite different. Aurora has larger Gross Tonnage due partly to the fact that the vessel has centre-enclosed swimming pool.

Oceana, former Ocean Princess, Sea Princess’ sister ship, was transferred to P&O together with Adonia, and remained in P&O fleet. Artemis, another ex-Princess ship, joined P and O cruise lines in 2005- in 2011 she left Princess fleet and was replaced by Royal Princess and renamed Adonia- she is even smaller than Artemis, only 30,000 gross tons- the smallest in P and ) cruises fleet.

As of 2012, Oriana, Adonia, and Arcadia, are adult only cruise ships.

In June 2011 it was announced that P&O Cruises will expand the fleet with a new 141,000-ton cruise ship built by Fincantieri. The new vessel entered service in 2015 as "MV Britannia". In January 2014, the line unveiled plans to introduce a new livery based on the UK's Union Flag to emphasise its British heritage.

P&O Cruises ships livery

P and O Cruises Australia

P&O Cruises Australia – British-American line which corporate headquarters are also at Carnival House, Southampton, England. P&O Australia operational headquarters are in North Sydney, Australia. This is sister company of the P&O UK; among the oldest and largest cruise ship companies in the world; now forming part of Carnival Corporation & plc, under Carnival UK executive control. Currently, P&O Australia operates three ships. The company is sailing from different ports in New Zealand and Australia.

P&O Cruises Australia ships

After numerous changes in the company’s organisation, in 2000 P&O Group de-merged all cruise ship operations. Then, P&O Princess Cruises was created- a new company independent of P&O; consisting of AIDA Cruises, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, P&O Cruises, and later Ocean Village and A-Rosa Cruises. In 2003, Carnival Corporation merged with P&O Princess Cruises thus forming Carnival Corporation & plc- the largest cruise company in the world, with eleven cruise lines portfolio, including P&O AU. Official website pocruises.com.aunofollow.

The oldest cruise ship of Princess Cruises- Regal Princess, was translocated to P&O Australia in October 2007. After a month of refurbishment, the vessel entered service as Pacific Dawn.

Carnival Corporation & plc informed about the closure of Ocean Village- their UK-based brand on 30 October 2008. Both Ocean Village ships were transferred to P&O Australia fleet. Ocean Village Two joined as Pacific Jewel in December 2009. Ocean Village followed as Pacific Pearl in late 2010.

PO cruise ships sail on more than 270 itineraries each year (with over 120 of them departing from Southampton), and visiting more than 90 countries on 6 continents.

Pacific Pearl was renamed to MV Columbus, starting in 2017 operations for CMV (Cruise Maritime Voyages). The 1987-built Pacific Pearl left PO Australia's fleet in April 2017, after completing 294 cruises for the company and carrying over 1 million passengers over 5 years. However, the older ship had to make room for the line's latest additions - the newer and bigger-sized Pacific Aria, Pacific Eden and Pacific Explorer.

Itinerary of P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises ships sail on mostly round-trip itineraries leaving from UK (Southampton, April through October), Caribbean (from Barbados, during winter) and from Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane - year-round departures). While most PandO UK ships remain in Europe year-round, the line's largest vessels also sail in the Caribbean (out of Barbados) and offer offer longer world cruise itineraries.

P and O cruise itinerary changes

In mid February 2016, the P and O UK line announced that the UK's most popular TV dancing competition show "Strictly Come Dancing" will be featured on themed sailings in 2016. The line will offer a total of 4 themed cruises, each hosting 4 of the show's professional dancers. The onboard events (in partnership with BBC Worldwide) will include interviews, meets and greets, spectacular showcases. The P&O UK's 2016 dancing themed cruise itineraries are on the following ships:

  • (Ventura) 14-night Canary Islands departing from Southampton on April 22, 2016, with Strictly stars on the ship Joanne Clifton, Giovanni Pernice, Karen and Kevin Clifton, Craig Revel Horwood (judge).
  • (Britannia) 13-night Canary Island departing from Southampton on May 16, 2016, with strictly stars on the ship Janette Manrara, Aljaz Skorjanec, Karen and Kevin Clifton, Craig Revel Horwood (judge).
  • (Britannia) 13-night Canary Island departing from Southampton on June 5, 2016, with Strictly stars on the ship Janette Manrara, Aljaz Skorjanec, Karen and Kevin Clifton, Craig Revel Horwood (judge).
  • (Azura ) 14-night Mediterranean departing from Southampton on July 22, 2016, with Strictly stars on the ship Ian Waite, Natalie Lowe, Pasha Kovalev, Anya Garnis, Anton Du Beke (judge).

In the end of March 2016, the P&O UK announced its largest ever itinerary program for the season 2017-2018. Sales opened on April 4, 2016. The new 2017-2018 itineraries will offer more port destinations and year-round Southampton departures than any other UK cruise line. Among the scheduled 2017-2018 deals are Mediterranean fly-cruises from UK to Valletta (Malta, new departure port), as well as more food- and music themed cruises. "Food Heroes" themed voyages will feature presentations by renown wine experts and celebrity chefs, such as Atul Kochhar, Marco Pierre White, James Martin, Eric Lanlard, Olly Smith. The new programming also features:

  • more overnight port stays
  • 36 cruise ports, 14 port overnights (including in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bridgetown Barbados, Oslo, Reykjavik (Iceland), Quebec (Canada), St Petersburg (Russia), also in the US ports Boston MA, Charleston SC, NYC New York, New Orleans NOLA.
  • Maiden calls in 5 Mediterranean cruise ports - Sibenik Croatia, Olbia Sardinia, Chania Crete, Trapani Sicily
  • scenic voyages (incl partial Panama Canal transition)
  • new world cruise 2018 itineraries, including a 99-days on Arcadia (31 destinations, 21 countries) and 65-days around South America on Aurora (23 destinations, 17 countries)
  • More event-themed cruises (Monaco Grand Prix, Copenhagen Jazz Festival)
  • P&O UK cruise fares start from GBP 600 PP (inside cabin, double occupancy) for booking a 7-night Southampton round-trip itinerary.

The 2018 programme of P&O includes 36 school holiday voyages, the most ever; 7 new maiden calls; a new 12-night Norwegian Fjord cruise; a new 30-day Canadian cruise on Arcadia. In 2018 the new ports will be Rapallo and Capri, Italy; Rovinj, Croatia; Kristiansund, Norway; GaspeSept-Iles, Iles de la Madeleine - Canada. P&O Cruises will offer a total of 26 evening calls, leaving ports no earlier than 9:00 p.m., and overnights in 8 destinations – AltaAmsterdamFunchalHamilton (Bermuda)New York, Reykjavik, Quebec and St Petersburg.

P&O Cruises, will operate just one world cruise in both 2018 and 2019 and deploy Aurora, which has performed the 2nd such cruise of the cruise line, on sailings to South America instead. The remaining world voyage will depart in January of both 2018 and 2019 and run westbound through Panama and Suez Canal. It will be operated by Arcadia, which has done a world voyage each year for a few years in a row. Aurora will sail on a 65-night South America cruise on January 3, 2018 and a 55-night cruise to the same region a year later. After these, the ship will operate shorter voyages to Norway and the Caribbean.

P&O Australia was the first cruise line that visited Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world (length 120 km / 75 ml, width 24 km / 15 ml). In April 2016, Pacific Aria became the largest vessel navigating the Great Sandy Strait (Australia). This is a 70 km (~ 43 ml) sand passage estuary (tidal strait consisting of bays and sand flats) that separates mainland Queensland from Fraser Island (World Heritage Site). On April 3, at high tide the ship entered and slowly cruised through the strait assisted by an experienced local pilot (a former Captain). At about 7 am, Aria anchored off the Kingfisher Bay Resort. A further five Quensland cruise itineraries visiting Fraser Island are scheduled for 2017.

P&O Australia 2018 NZ cruise season

In June 2017, P&O Cruises Australia added 5 more roundtrip cruises from New Zealand in 2018 with departures out of Auckland. The company released details of its ever largest NZ program with local travelers able to choose from 22 roundtrip itineraries in 2018. NZ cruise passenger numbers are in a rise and P&O AU is the leading company on the local market.

With the extension of its latest program, Pacific Jewel will be based in Auckland from March through August 2018, offering itineraries that range from themed "Sea Break" 3-night cruises to a 15-night voyage to Polynesia islands.

The additional 5 itineraries on offer in 2018 July and August are:

  • July 24, 2018 - 10-night cruise to Tonga visiting 4 ports including Vava’u and Nuku’alofa; fares from NZD 1206 pp
  • August 6, 2018 - 9-night cruise to the Pacific Islands, visiting LifouMareNoumeaPort Vila; fares from NZD 1119 pp
  • August 15, 2018 - 8-night cruise to Fiji; fares from NZD 943 pp
  • August 3, 2018 - 3-night comedy cruise; fares from NZD 383 pp
  • August 23, 2018 - 3-night food & wine cruise; fares from NZD 383 pp.

PO AU's vessels are all UK-flagged. However, all vessels are registered in Bermuda to allow weddings at sea. These are conducted by the ship's Captain and are pretty popular.

Our P and O cruise ship schedules include the ships of both brands (AU and UK). The information in brackets shows (year built / tonnage / cabins total).


112-day World cruise and Southamton UK itineraries (roundtrips):

  • 14d Western Med to Barcelona, 18d with Morocco
  • 21d Grand Med with Adriatic
  • 7d Norwegian Fjords
  • 12-14-16d Arctic Norway
  • 13d Iceland and Norway
  • 16d Baltic Capitals
  • 12d Around Britain (Ireland Scotland Wales).
  • 28d Transatlantic roundtrip UK to Caribbean.

The cruise ship Adonia was transferred in 2016 to a new Carnival-owned line named “fathom”. She currently offers 7-day Caribbean cruises from Miami to Cuba and Dominican Republic (on year-round roundtrip itineraries from Florida). Adonia re-joins P&O Cruises fleet in June 2017. 

P&O Cruises Adonia ship returns to the UK after a year of operating pioneering voyages to Cuba and the Dominican Republic as part of the "impact tourism" venture of Fathom for Carnival Corporation.

The cruise liner completed her last voyage from Miami to Cuba on May 14, 2017. Adonia will then enter dry dock for a makeover. The addition of a wine bar curated by TV’s Olly Smith and a Glass House restaurant are among the enhancements. Adonia will cross the Atlantic Ocean without passengers, reaching Portland on June 14 for a wash and brush-up before being welcomed back to Southampton the following day by a fire tug shooting jets of water.

The summer season of the vessel in Europe takes in sailings to many ports that are inaccessible to her larger sisters. By November 2017 Adonia will be back in the Caribbean for a 6-month season of 14-night fly-cruises out of Barbados.


92-day World cruise and Southampton UK itineraries:

  • 24d roundtrip Transatlantic from UK to Caribbean
  • mini cruises from UK
  • 14d UK cruise to Iceland
  • 14d Baltic Capitals (tours to Russia and Scandinavia)
  • 7d Norwegian Fjords (13d Arctic Norway)
  • 12d Western Med with Barcelona
  • 17d Adriatic to Venice and Croatia
  • 20d Eastern Med (Holy Land)
  • 24d to Black Sea from UK.


109-day World cruise and Southampton UK itineraries:

  • 3-4d mini cruises
  • 7d Norway Fjords
  • 14d Scandinavia Russia
  • 14d Iceland and Norway
  • 10d Baltic (Belgium, Holland, Norway)
  • 17d Adriatic
  • 7d Western Europe (Atlantic Coastal), 10-11d with Morocco
  • 12-14d UK to Canary Islands.
  • 25d Transatlantic from UK to Canada.
  • 24d Transatlantic UK to Caribbean.


Transatlantic repositioning cruises from UK to Barbados and the reverse from Barbados to UK.(Jan Feb Mar Nov Dec) 14d roundtrip Azura Barbados cruise itinerary from Bridgetown

  • (Curacao, Aruba, St Vincent, Grenada, St Maarten, BVI (Tortola), Guadeloupe, St Lucia).
  • (Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, St Maarten, Tortola, Curacao, Bonaire).
Azura Southamton UK itineraries:
  • 12d Western Med
  • 11-12-13d Canary
  • 14d Western Mediterranean with French Riviera
  • 17d Adriatic
  • 24d UK to Black Sea
  • 7d Norwegian Fjords
  • 2d mini cruises.


  • Mediterranean, Norway Fjords, Baltic, British isles and Canary Islands from Southampton UK
  • Caribbean cruises from Barbados
P&O Cruises operates MV Britannia with roundtrips out of St Lucia as part of the company's UK to Caribbean fly-cruise program 2017-2018
  • 7d Caribbean (from St.Lucia to Barbados, visiting Dominica, Antigua, St. Maarten)
  • 14d Caribbean (from St.Lucia to St. Vincent, adding Curacao, Aruba and Grenada).


Southamton round-trip itineraries:

  • 24d Eastern Med (Holy Land).
  • 35d round-trip Transatlantic from UK to CARIBBEAN.
  • 12-13d to Canary (14d with Morocco).
  • 14d Western Mediterranean (with French Riviera).
  • 11-12d West Med with Gibraltar.
  • 7d Norwegian Fjords
  • 2-4d mini cruises.
  • Oceana will be based at Malta in 2017, operated with fly-cruise deals from UK and round-trip departures from port Valletta.
  • Oceana will be based in Port Rashid from 2019 offering five Arabian Gulf cruises of up to 10-night itineraries with overnight stays in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


Southampton round-trips

  • 35d round-trip Transatlantic from UK to Caribbean and USA
  • 10-11-12-13d Western Med
  • 17d Adriatic
  • 12-14d Iceland and Ireland
  • 7d Norway Fjords (14d Arctic)
  • 14d Russia Scandinavia
  • 12-13-14d Canary.


new 14d roundtrip Barbados cruise itinerary from Bridgetown:

  • St Vincent, Dominica, St Lucia, Antigua, St Kitts, Grand Turk, Tortola, St Maarten
  • Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, St Maarten, Tortola, Curacao, Bonaire.

Pacific Aria

Brisbane Australia itineraries:

  • 3-day Brisbane cruises to Nowhere.
  • 7-10d Brisbane to Queensland.
  • 9-11d New Caledonia and Vanuatu
  • 14d Brisbane to Fiji.
Pacific Aria Sydney Australia itineraries:
  • 3-day Sydney cruises to Nowhere.
  • 4-day Sydney to Queensland.
  • 9-11d New Caledonia and Vanuatu

2017 short breaks to Queensland island from Sydney and Brisbane with first cruise calls to Fraser Island.

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific Dawn

Brisbane Australia itineraries:

  • 3-day Brisbane cruises to Nowhere.
  • 7d Queensland cruises from Brisbane.
  • 14d roundtrip Brisbane to New Zealand.
  • South Pacific Islands
  • 7d New Caledonia and Vanuatu
  • 11d plus Espiritu Santo
  • 12d Brisbane to Fiji

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific Dawn will cruise from Brisbane between 2017 July and 2018 March:

  • 30 short break departures to Hamilton Island, Whitsundays and Newcastle (for Hunter).

Pacific Eden

Sydney Australia itineraries:

  • 3-day Sydney cruises to Nowhere.
  • 4-12d Sydney to Queensland.
  • 9-11d New Caledonia

In 2017 Pacific Eden will offer a second Cairns season including 4-night roundtrip voyages to Alotau, Papua New Guinea with scenic cruising through Milne Bay and Kawanasausau Strait;2017 short breaks to Queensland island from Sydney and Brisbane with first cruise calls to Fraser Island;In winter 2017 Pacific Eden returns to Singapore to offer 2-week-long itineraries around Thailand and Andaman Islands, calling to Ko Chang and Krabi (Thailand) and Sabang (Indonesia).From April to June 2017, the ship will offer a Fremantle season with a series of 10 sailings including a new 7-night itinerary featuring P&O first scenic cruising along Kimberley coastline as well as popular Indonesian voyages and short breaks to Margaret River and Esperance.

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific Explorer

  • entered service in April 2017. This is the former Dawn Princess ship from Princess Cruises fleet
  • Pacific Explorer will offer a range of Pacific Island, Australia, Sea Break and Main Event itineraries sailing out of Sydney.

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific Jewel

Sydney Australia itineraries:

  • 3-4d (themed) Sydney Cruises to Nowhere.
  • South Pacific Islands
  • 8d New Caledonia
  • 9-10-11-12d New Caledonia and Vanuatu
  • 14d Sydney to Fiji, (16d with Tonga)

In June 2016, Pacific Jewel became the first cruise ship to visit Conflict Islands as part of P&O Australia's Papua New Guinea itineraries. The ship operated out of Melbourne (Victoria) (between November 2017 and March 2018) for 109 days, offering 18 cruises. A new 12-night NZ itinerary visited Fiordland National Park and Stewart Island. Short Breaks were offered to Eden NSW and Kangaroo Island. In 2017, following Pacific Pearl's farewell, Pacific Jewel became PandO's New Zealand cruise ship and offered roundtrip departures from Auckland NZ for 2 months (Sept - Dec) to South Pacific Islands, before returning again in 2018.

In 2017, P&O Australia operates its first ever "Melbourne Cup Carnival" cruise from Auckland NZ in November. The 10-night Pacific Jewel cruise to the world famous "Emirates Melbourne Cup" race event. The itinerary also highlights P&O’s inaugural spring cruise season in New Zealand, with the 2000-passenger superliner operating a series of roundtrips from Auckland between September 1 to October 31, 2017. This sports-themed  cruise will see 2000 New Zealand racing fans form part of a 6000-strong contingent of P&O AU guests cruising to the "Melbourne Cup Carnival" with cruise fares including admission to the Cup and transfers in Melbourne. Fares on the 10-night "Melbourne Cup" cruise started from AUD 1,342 PP (quad share) inclusive of entry and transfers to the Melbourne Cup.

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

P&O Cruises related cruise news