P&O Cruises announced the launch of its most varied and largest cruise programme for 2017-2018. Opening for sale April 4, 2016 the new itineraries will offer more destinations and year-round departures from Southampton, UK than any other cruise line.

Highlights include more fly-cruises to the Mediterranean from a new homeport of Malta, as well as more theme sailings including "Food Heroes" and "Strictly Come Dancing". P&O "Food Heroes" include Michelin-starred 'Master of Spices' Atul Kochhar; the godfather of British cooking Marco Pierre White; Britain's favourite chef, James Martin; award-winning patissier, Eric Lanlard; and wine guru Olly Smith.

PO Cruises Arcadia

Image: flickr.com

Other highlights of the 2017-2018 programme include:

  • More evening/overnight port calls. A total of 36 cruise ports and 14 overnights in popular destinations include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Bridgetown, Boston, Charleston, New York, New Orleans, Oslo, Reykjavik, Quebec, St Petersburg.
  • Maiden calls to Sibenik, Croatia; Olibia, Italy; Chania and Crete; Trapani, Italy.
  • An increased area of scenic cruises, including a partial Panama Canal transit.
  • 2018 new world cruise collection including a 99-night Classic Western Circumnavigation onboard ms Arcadia, calling at 31 destinations in 21 different countries. A 65-night Round South America voyage is offered onboard ms Aurora, calling 23 destinations in 17 different countries.
  • An increased number of "discovery cruises".
  • More "event" cruises like to Monaco Grand Prix and Copenhagen Jazz Festival.

Pre-registration opens on Monday, March 21, with sales opening from March 31 to Top Tier Peninsular Club members. The programme goes on general sale from April 4. Fares start from £599 per person for a 7-night cruise out of Southampton.