P&O Cruises

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

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.

P and O Cruises (UK-Australia) logo

Company history

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

In 2000 P and O Cruises was excluded from P&O Group, becoming the subsidiary "P&O Princess Cruises". In 2003, P&O Princess merged with Carnival, forming Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O holds as market share 5% of the worldwide cruise industry.

Both companies (P&O Cruises Australia and P&O Cruises UK) were created in 1977, re-branding PandO's passenger division. Arcadia was fleet's first adults-only liner, followed by Adonia (now Azamara Pursuit), Oriana and Aurora (April 2000).

  • P&O UK ships Oriana, Arcadia and Aurora are currently marketed as adult-only.
  • In August 2017, Azura became world's first cruise ship performing gay weddings at sea. P&O UK's wedding package prices started from GBP 1200. For comparison, Cunard’s shipboard weddings cost from GBP 2570 (RMS Queen Mary 2) and from GBP 2120 (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).
  • In June 2018, P&O UK announced that Oriana leaves the fleet in August 2019.

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 (via Carnival Corp) 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 (named Iona, 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 new 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.
  • On January 26, 2018, Carnival Corporation signed a shipbuilding contract with Meyer Werft for building a 2nd (180,000 GT) vessel for the P&O brand. The 2nd ship's delivery was scheduled for 2022.
  • As of 2018, Carnival Corporation’s fleet of newbuilds (on order and under construction) was 19 vessels, with scheduled deliveris 2018-2022.

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).
  • On March 7, 2018, P&O Australia announced that MS Pacific Eden was sold to the UK-based company Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV). The ship joins the CMV fleet in April 2019.

P&O Cruise Personaliser

PandO Cruise Personaliser is an on-line service that allows passengers to update their before-sailing information and see in a concise form all their booking details. P&O Personaliser is NOT mandatory to complete, but may be of great help in cases of emergency for the company to contact family members, relatives, friends.

To log in, you'll need to input your first and surname, and cruise reference number. It is received as part of your reservation confirmation (up to 120 days prior departure, not available for 18-yo) or upon booking (up to 1 year). The same number serves all people included on the booking. On the Web page there's information about cruise itinerary, stateroom (category and number), boarding times, contact info (including emergency contacts), passport data, medical and dietary requirements (if requested).

PO Cruise Insurance is optional. If purchased, the Insurance policy type is also shown (Standard or higher), package deal type, all kinds of pre-made reservations (shore excursions, Air, Spa), credit card number, luggage tags, etc.

  • Dining /medical requests can't be entered online - they must be specified in the manual form.
  • The accessible information about changes and updates pertains ONLY to phone number, address, passport, emergency contacts.
  • You can't book cruise through P&O Cruise Personaliser - booking requires full payment and immigration details.
  • Through the Personaliser you can make online reservations (shore excursions, tours, Spa, hairdresser, specialty restaurants), to update special requests and onboard preferences, or to add some additional services (babysitting, amenities, etc).
  • Itinerary changes are also listed in the Cruise Personaliser form, along with other important updates.
  • Immediately call P&O if you have forgotten or lost your booking number. Call between 7 am – 8 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time - Monday to Friday) and Saturday (8 am - 5 pm) - phone number 1300-159-454.

PO Cruise Personaliser is accessed by both travel agents and passengers. With personal bookings (through travel agent or P&O Reservations Centre) passengers receive reference numbers (after confirmation). On a particular booking, each passenger can access the Personaliser using the booking reference number and first name-surname. If you're not the booking person, contact the one who did it for obtaining booking reference. After log-in, note that all passengers' names in the booking party are displayed under the same reference number.

IMPORTANT - Each of the same-booking passengers is able to access the info about you and the other, i.e. you can update and provide information of all other passengers in your booking, and they can change your information. If you wish so, you could provide PandO with other passengers' personal information. Another case is when they are minors (younger than 18 years old). Then you must be parent or legal guardian.

After providing P&O cruise company with the personal data needed on the Personaliser (and also with additional info if asked for more details), this database is used for updating pre-cruise information.

Certain information is sometimes required under maritime-customs-immigration-security laws. Personaliser info may be disclosed to P&O Cruises service providers (ticketing companies, travel and port agents, authorities, emergency response providers, immigration, airlines, customs, shore tour operators, related entities) for Carnival Corporation's business purposes. Certain information is collected because of customs or immigration laws requirements. If you refuse to provide the information requested in the Personaliser, they may not be able to process the booking or provide certain services during the voyage.

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

P&O Cruises operates just one world cruise in 2019. It departs in January 2019 and runs westbound through Panama and Suez Canal. The world cruise is operated by Arcadia, which has done a world voyage each year for a few years in a row.

P&O Cruises launched its 2019 summer cruise programme including 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.

An extended Caribbean season, new Northern Lights voyage and a full season of Dubai & Arabian Gulf cruises feature in P&O winter 2019-2020 programme, with a total of 181 sailings. 

  • Cruise line’s Dubai & Arabian Gulf fly-cruise programme was expanded to include a trio of 14-night trips to India, 12-night Christmas & New Year cruise with New Year Eve in Dubai, two 7-night itineraries, including one that coincides with February school half term, and a series of 10-night cruises.
  • Azura and Britannia run Caribbean fly-cruises featuring 14-night itineraries to 9 cruise ports, with the programme extended by 1 week with each vessel offering additional sailing.
  • In addition to 3 cruises operated by Arcadia and Aurora in February-March 2020, an extra 12-night Northern Lights voyage has been added for autumn 2019.
  • In 2020, Aurora cruise ship runs a 55-night roundtrip UK itinerary to Caribbean, New Orleans and Miami FL
  • Arcadia offers a 99-night world cruise including the reintroduction of New Zealand with 3 calls, an overnight in Shanghai and destinations like San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai. The vessel makes a maiden visit to Manzanillo as part of the circumnavigation.
  • Oriana and Ventura offer 4 long cruises in January-February 2020. Ventura has two 35-night cruises to New Orleans or Panama Canal, while Oriana operates two 28-night Caribbean itineraries.
  • Arcadia and Ventura replace Oceana and Aurora in operating 5-night short breaks over New Year 2019-2020. 
  • Oriana operates a western Mediterranean voyage within the winter programme. Her 17-night itinerary includes Valencia, Genoa, Rome, plus visits to Gibraltar, Olbia and Lisbon.
  • 4-night cruise breaks to Amsterdam are offered by Ventura and Aurora to Amsterdam.
  • Two 5-night cruise breaks on Ventura and Arcadia over New Year feature Hamburg and Amsterdam.
  • Vessels across the fleet of P&O run 2-night weekend breaks out of Southampton UK to Bruges from Zeebrugge.
  • Ventura and Aurora offer 7-night voyages taking in northern European port cities, including overnights in Rotterdam, as well as calls to Bruges and Cherbourg from Zeebrugge.
  • The cruise line is making evening visits to 27 ports and overnights in a total of 17 destinations including Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, New Orleans, Oslo, San Francisco, Sydney. 

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).

Ship NameHomeportsItineraries Changes

Arcadia

Southampton

  • World cruise from Southampton
  • roundtrip Transatlantic from UK to Caribbean
  • mini cruises from UK
  • UK to Iceland
  • Baltic Capitals (Russia and Scandinavia)
  • Norwegian Fjords
  • Arctic Norway
  • Western Mediterranean
  • Adriatic Sea
  • Eastern Med (Holy Land)
  • (New Year 2019-2020) 5-night short breaks featuring Hamburg and Amsterdam
  • (2020) 99-night world cruise including the reintroduction of New Zealand with 3 calls, an overnight in Shanghai and destinations like San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai

Aurora

Southampton

  • mini cruises
  • Norway Fjords
  • Scandinavia Russia
  • Iceland and Norway
  • Baltic (Belgium, Holland, Norway)
  • Adriatic Sea
  • Western Europe (Atlantic Coastal), Morocco
  • Canary Islands.
  • Transatlantic UK to Canada.
  • Transatlantic UK to Caribbean
  • (2019-2020 winter) 4-night cruise breaks to Amsterdam, 7-night voyages taking in northern European port cities, including overnights in Rotterdam, as well as calls to Bruges and Cherbourg from Zeebrugge.
  • (2020) 55-night itinerary to the Caribbean, New Orleans and Miami FL

Azura

Bridgetown Barbados

Southamton England UK

  • Transatlantic repositioning (UK to Barbados and Barbados to UK)
  • Caribbean roundtrips from Barbados
  • to Curacao, Aruba, St Vincent, Grenada, St Maarten, BVI Tortola, Guadeloupe, St Lucia
  • to Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, St Maarten, Tortola, Curacao, Bonaire
Southamton itineraries:
  • Canary Islands
  • Western Mediterranean with French Riviera
  • Adriatic Sea
  • Norwegian Fjords
  • mini cruises

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

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

(2019-2020 winter) Caribbean fly-cruises featuring 14-night itineraries to 9 cruise ports

Britannia

Bridgetown Barbados

Castries St Lucia

Southamton England UK

  • Mediterranean
  • Norway Fjords
  • Baltic Sea
  • British isles
  • Canary Islands
  • Caribbean (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 2018-2019
  • 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 cruises from May through October.

(2019-2020 winter) Caribbean fly-cruises featuring 14-night itineraries to 9 cruise ports

Iona

Southamton England UK

new ship for P&O Australia (enters service in May 2020)

Iona's itinerary program is based on 7-day roundtrip Norwegian Fjords cruises from Southampton, visiting in Norway ports Olden, Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Stavanger, Alesund.

The inaugural season includes only no-fly cruise itineraries roundtrip from UK. Bookings for the new liner will be opened in September 2018.

P&O's Norway Fjords cruise excursions include seakayaking, river rafting, zip-lining, fishing (crayfish), high-speed boat tours (RIB), helicopter and plane tours.

Oceana

Southamton UK

Valletta Malta

Dubai UAE

  • Eastern Med (Holy Land)
  • roundtrip Transatlantic from UK to CARIBBEAN
  • Canary Islands with Morocco
  • Western Mediterranean (with French Riviera and Gibraltar)
  • Norwegian Fjords
  • mini cruises.
  • Oceana will be based in Port Rashid (Dubai UAE) from 2019 offering 5 Arabian Gulf cruises of up to 10-night itineraries with overnight stays in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  • (2019 Mediterranean program from UK) homeported at Malta and operated with fly-cruise deals from UK and round-trip departures from port Valletta

Oriana

Southampton UK
  • roundtrip Transatlantic from UK to Caribbean and USA
  • Western Mediterranean
  • Adriatic Sea
  • Iceland and Ireland
  • Norway Fjords (Arctic)
  • Russia Scandinavia
  • Canaries
  • (2019-2020 winter) western Mediterranean voyage with 17-night itinerary including Valencia, Genoa, Rome, plus visits to Gibraltar, Olbia and Lisbon
  • (January-February 2020) a couple of 28-night sailings.

Ventura

Bridgetown Barbados

Southampton UK

Caribbean from Bridgetown to:

  • 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.

(New Year 2019-2020) 5-night short breaks featuring Hamburg and Amsterdam

(2019-2020 winter) 4-night cruise breaks to Amsterdam, 7-night voyages taking in northern European port cities, including overnights in Rotterdam, as well as calls to Bruges and Cherbourg from Zeebrugge.

(January-February 2020) two 35-night cruises with headline destinations of New Orleans or Panama Canal.

Pacific Aria

Brisbane QLD Australia

Sydney NSW Australia

Brisbane roundtrip itineraries:

  • 3-day Brisbane cruises to Nowhere
  • Queensland
  • New Caledonia and Vanuatu
  • Fiji.
Sydney Australia itineraries:
  • 3-day Sydney cruises to Nowhere
  • Queensland
  • New Caledonia and Vanuatu

(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. 

(2019) 6 dedicated cruises from Sydney to Papua New Guinea visit Alotau, Rabaul, Kitava Island, Kiriwina Island, Conflict Islands. 

(2019) 6 one-way voyages to / from Singapore, such as 18-night "Australia and Southeast Asia Discovery" from Adelaide (March)

(2019) five 10-night "New Guinea Island Encounter" voyages from Brisbane

Short "Sea Break" weekend cruises range from 2- to 4-nights, including 4-night Moreton Island itineraries out of Sydney and 3-night roundtrip Sea Breaks out of Sydney and Brisbane.

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific Dawn

Brisbane QLD Australia

Brisbane itineraries:

  • 3-day cruises to Nowhere
  • Queensland
  • roundtrip Brisbane to New Zealand
  • South Pacific Islands - New Caledonia and Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, Fiji

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific Eden

Sydney NSW Australia

NEWS - the ship was sold to CMV in March 2018. In April 2019, Pacific Eden starts operations for the UK-based company Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV).

Pacific Explorer

(former Dawn Princess / Princess Cruises)

Sydney NSW Australia
  • Pacific Islands
  • Australia
  • Sea Breaks
  • Themed cruises
  • year-round Sydney departures (May through October 2019) on 8- to 16-night South Pacific voyages.
  • Included are destinations like the Conflict Islands. A 6-night Dark Mofo cruise departs 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 NSW Australia
  • (themed) Sydney Cruises to Nowhere.
  • South Pacific Islands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Caledonia and Vanuatu
  • Sydney to Fiji(with Tonga)

P&O Cruise to Nowhere (Australia)

Pacific TBN (to be named)

tbaPrincess Cruises ship Golden Princess joins PandO AU's fleet in 2020. 

 

P&O Cruises related cruise news