P&O Cruises

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P&O Cruises fleet

Review of P&O Cruises

This is CruiseMapper's hub for both companies - P&O UK and P&O Australia. 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 NSW Australia. Both P&O lines are part of the Carnival Group of cruise companies, all fully owned by Carnival Corporation & PLC. PandO is under the management of Carnival UK. And there is a 3rd "PandO" named company - P&O Ferries.

PandO cruise deals are relatively costly, delivering in return the authentic British style and luxury to the very last penny of each pound. PandO 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. 

The companies "P&O Cruises Australia" and "P&O Cruises" (UK) were created in 1977, thus re-branding the passenger division. Arcadia was the first adults-only ship in the fleet, followed by Adonia.

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), was transferred to P&O together with Adonia. Artemis joined PandO in 2005. In 2011 it left Princess fleet and was replaced by Royal Princess (renamed Adonia).

  • P&O UK ships Oriana, Adonia, and Arcadia are marketed as adult-only.
  • In August 2017, MS Azura became the world's first cruise ship performing gay weddings at sea. P&O UK's wedding package prices start from GBP 1200. For comparison, Cunard’s ship weddings cost from GBP 2570 (on Queen Mary 2) and from GBP 2120 (on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth). On MS Azura, gay wedding ceremonies are carried out by the ship’s Captain, while marriage licenses are issued by Bermuda's Government (as the vessel is registered in Hamilton Bermuda).

New ships

In June 2011 was announced that P&O UK will expand the fleet with a new 141,000-ton vessel built by Fincantieri (Italy). The new vessel entered service in 2015 as MV Britannia. In January 2014, with Britannia, PandO introduced a new livery based on the UK's Union Flag to emphasise its British heritage.

P&O Cruises ships livery

On September 6, 2016, P&O UK signed a MoA with Meyer Werft (Papenburg shipyard) for building a new (company's largest) 5200-passenger vessel. In the end of October 2016, P&O announced that the new ship (scheduled for delivery in 2020) will ‘have some of the largest at sea outdoor areas, glass-domed top deck, galss-walled atrium (full height) and wider and longer (approx 2600 ft / 800 m) Promenade Deck allowing multiple al-fresco dining (open-air) venues.

P&O Cruises Britannia cruise ship

One of the new cruise ships on roder, the P&O UK vessel has passenger capacity 5200, gross tonage 180,000 tons and was described as "the most ambitious and largest ship ever build for Britain”. The still unnamed vessel has 17 eateries (including 7 speciality restaurants / Britannia has just 3), 12 bars, 13 entertainment venues, 4 swimming pools, 16 whirlpools. The top-deck Dome is an entertainment space, with a swimming pool, large whirlpools, retractable stage. This is an all-weather venue for daily entertainment and dining and nightly shows (aerial performance and light projections onto the covering glass roof).

P&O UK newest cruise ship is also LNG-powered (by liquefied natural gas), and its name will be chosen via an online held competition. Two similar-design ships (180,000 tons) will be delivered to Carnival Cruise Line's fleet in 2020 and 2022.

In January 2016, Carnival Corporation signed a MoA (memo of agreement) with Fincantieri to build 4 new vessels. Contracts were finalized in April 2016. Of these, 2 vessels were for Costa Asia (homeported in China), 1 for Princess and 1 for P&O Australia.

  • With this shipbuilding order, the Corporation had a total of 17 new ships scheduled for deliveries between 2016 and 2020. The four vessel will be built at Fincantieri's shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, with scheduled deliveries in 2019-2020.
  • Three of the vessels are designed with gross tonnage 133,500 tons, LOA length is 323 m (1060 ft) and capacity 4000 passengers plus 1450 crew (2 are for Costa Asia, 1 for P&O AU). One ship with GT 143,700 tons and capacity 3560 passengers is for Princess. Both Costa ships are exclusively for the booming Chinese market.
  • Each vessel is powered by two MAN diesel engines (model 14V48 / 60CR) plus three MAN diesel engines (medium-speed, model 8L48 / 60CR), providing total power output 62,400 kW. The engines are Tier-II compliant.

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 is a sister company of P&O UK. Both are under Carnival UK executive control. Currently, P&O Australia operates 5 ships operating on South Pacific Island itineraries with mainly roundtrip departures from ports in New Zealand and Australia.

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 informed about the closure of Ocean Village (UK-based brand) on October 30, 2008. Both Ocean Village ships were transferred to P&O Australia - Ocean Village 2 (as Pacific Jewel, December 2009) and Ocean Village 1 (as Pacific Pearl, December 2010).

PandO 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.

P&O Cruises Australia ships

On November 25, 2015: P&O AU's entire fleet (all 5 liners) gathered in Sydney Harbour to celebrated the arrival of the fleetmates Aria and Eden.

In June 2018, P&O Australia launched on Pacific Explorer "The Big Laugh" onboard show program - advertized as "the biggest comedy festival at sea".

  • The program included all 14 stand-up comedy celebrities performing a total of 36 shipboard live shows (combined over 33 hours live performances). The program started with the 4-day roundtrip Sydney cruise to Moreton Island (departure June 20).
  • Among the guest comedians were Jimeoin (Irish), Matthew Matt Okine (AU), David Gerard Callan (Australian), Scared Weird Little Guys (Australian comedy music duo - John Fleming and Rusty Berther), David William "Hughesy" Hughes (AU), Harley Breen (AU), Claire Hooper (AU).
  • "The Big Laugh" program comprized of all 72 comedy-themed cruises in 2018-2019. The famous Australian comedians performed during 2-, 3- and 4-night itineraries ("SeaBreaks") leaving roundtrip out of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Auckland NZ.
  • In 2019, P&O AU scheduled the ever largest "comedy cruise" program in the company's history - 38 itineraries (January through October).

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 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 were scheduled for 2017.

P&O Cruises launched its 2019 summer cruise programme via a brochure bursting with about 180 itineraries to some of the world's most popular destinations. Featuring a combination of mainstream itineraries and 'discovery' voyages to lesser known destinations, key features include:

  • Weekly 7-night Norway Fjords on Azura, Britannia and Ventura from April through September;
  • Fortnightly 14-night Western Mediterranean voyages on Azura, Britannia and Ventura from May through October;
  • Past guest oriented cruising on Aurora and Arcadia;
  • Scenic cruising and discovery-led itineraries on Oriana;
  • Malta Mediterranean fly-cruise program on Oceana.

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).


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.

(2019) Weekly 7-night Norway Fjords from April through September.

(2019) Fortnightly 14-night Western Mediterranean voyages from May through October.


  • 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).

(2019) Weekly 7-night Norway Fjords from April through September.

(2019) Fortnightly 14-night Western Mediterranean voyages from May through October.


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.
  • (2019) Malta Mediterranean fly-cruise program.


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.

(2019) Weekly 7-night Norway Fjords from April through September.

(2019) Fortnightly 14-night Western Mediterranean voyages from May through October.

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

In 2019 Pacific Aria is sailing year-round from Brisbane, offering 7-night Pacific Island Hopper and Barrier Reef Discovery voyages departing on Fridays and Saturdays. Short "Sea Break" weekend sailings are also offered, via 51 on the schedule, ranging from 2- to 4-night trips, including 4-night Moreton Island sailings out of Sydney and 3-night round-trip Sea Break sailings out of Sydney and Brisbane.

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 2019 Pacific Eden joins Pacific Explorer sailing out of Sydney from April through October.

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 offers a range of Pacific Island, Australia, Sea Break and Main Event itineraries sailing out of Sydney.
  • Pacific Explorer continues to sail year-round from its homeport of Sydney from May through October 2019 with a mix of 8- to 16-night South Pacific voyages. Included are destinations like the Conflict Islands. A 6-night Dark Mofo cruise departs Sydney in June, with 2 nights in Hobart. 2019 Melbourne Cup cruise has 3 sailings, taking 6,000 travellers to the race with 2 Sydney departures and 1 from Brisbane.

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) November 2017 through March 2018 (a total of 109 days). It had scheduled all 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 AU offered company's first ever "Melbourne Cup Carnival" cruise from Auckland NZ (itinerary October 31 - November 10 via Sydney NSW). The 10-night cruise was themed on the worldwide famous "Emirates Melbourne Cup" race event. This sports-themed  cruise was booked by over 2000 NZ racing fans out of around 6000-strong contingent of P&O 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 rates) inclusive of entry and transfers to the Melbourne Cup.

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific TBN (to be named)

Princess Cruises ship Golden Princess will join PandO AU's fleet in 2020. The renamed ship's itinerary program will be officially announced in May 2018.

P&O Cruises related cruise news