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P&O Cruises' 2019 Cruise Collection Highlights

4th September 2017

P&O are offering some truly exciting opportunities in their summer 2019 cruise programme, read on for a summary of the best highlights.

 

Weekly – 7 Night – Cruises to the Norwegian Fjords

 

Because of the popularity of this destination, summer 2019 will see P&O Cruises' three big ships – Britannia, Azura, and Ventura – make weekly cruises here between April and September. Arcadia, Aurora, and Oriana will also undertake longer (12 to 18 night) voyages to the Norwegian Fjords, offering plenty of cruise options for everybody.

 

More Discovery Led Itineraries

 

An increase in 14-19 night journeys to more unusual destinations is also planned for summer 2019. These cruises allow guests to discover and explore new and interesting places – including Propriano in Corsica, and Olbia in Italy. There will be both family-friendly and adult-exclusive options to choose from.

 

 

Cruises to Match your Hobbies

 

2019 will see the return of well-loved themed cruises. The stars of Strictly Come Dancing will again make an appearance, so pack your dancing shoes and join in with Salsa, Waltz, and other fun dance lessons. P&O’s association with various British Food Heroes will also be continuing, and guests can make the most of cooking seminars, wine tastings, and Q&A sessions to enhance their foodie knowledge. Another popular option is the Monaco F1 cruise – on which motor sport fans can combine their passion with their holiday.

 

New Ports

 

P&O ships will be adding some new ports to their repertoire: Le Verdon, Bordeaux and Fredericia, Denmark. These exciting locations offer pretty views and classic architecture: in essence, quintessential Europe.

 

Ensure you get the exact cruise you want by securing an early booking on a P&O summer 2019 cruise today.


The Queen's Maritime History

11th September 2015

In September 2015 we celebrated a signigicant milestone in British history as HM Queen Elizabeth II was announced our longest reigning monarch. The Queen has long held an important role in our maritime history, launching and blessing many cruise ships. In celebration of recent events we take a look back at some of her most memorable moments.

HM Queen Elizabeth II 

Elizabeth was the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of York and his wife, Elizabeth, Duchess of York.

During the Second World War, at the age of 16, Elizabeth made her first solo public appearance in 1943 on a visit to the Grenadier Guards.

Elizabeth married her husband Phillip in 1947 and gave birth to their first child, Prince Charles on 14th November 1948. Her second child, Princess Anne was born in 1950.

During 1951, King George VI's health declined and Elizabeth often stood in for him at public events. He passed away that year and Elizabeth became Queen, she and Prince Phillip moved into Buckingham Palace. On June 2nd 1953 the Queen’s coronation was held at Westminster Abbey.

 

Royal Yacht Britannia

The Queen’s connection with sailing goes back to 1953 when she embarked upon the Royal Yacht Britannia. Many of her tours were undertaken on Britannia and she became very fond of the ship. First used by the Queen when she embarked with the Duke of Edinburgh on May 1st, 1954 for the final stage of their Commonwealth Tour.

Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned in December 1997 having sailed more than a million miles on Royal and official duties.

Named the UK’s No 1 landmark by TripAdvisor, Royal Yacht Britannia is now a five-star visitor attraction berthed permanently at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is often used to hold prestigious evening events.

Fact: In 1990 Queen Elizabeth II had a burglar alarm fitted on Royal Yacht Britannia that played ‘Colonel Bogey’, ‘The Campdown Races’ and ‘La Cucaracha’.

 

Queen for a Queen

Queen Elizabeth II accepted her first Godmother role in 1967 when she christened Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2.

This ocean liner served as both a transatlantic liner and cruise ship from 1969 to 2008. Built in Clydebank, Scotland she was considered the last of the great transatlantic ocean liners until the construction of Queen Mary 2 was announced.

It was here Queen Elizabeth made her mark in the maritime world.

In 1995 she went on to name P&O Oriana and became Godmother of her first P&O Cruises ship.

 

Cunard Queen Mary 2

In 2004 the first major ocean liner was built and Queen Mary 2 became the flagship of Cunard Line. Named after the first Queen Mary completed in 1936, she is the only transatlantic ocean liner in service between Southampton and New York.

With so much royal history and such an iconic British name, everyone knew Queen Elizabeth II would be the perfect Godmother. At a prestigious ceremony in Southampton, Queen Elizabeth named the 1,132ft long vessel. Following traditional ship naming she ended with "I name this ship Queen Mary 2. May God bless her and all who sail in her". To a loud applause she then pressed the button and the champagne bottle smashed against the side of the ship.

After the naming, the Queen went onboard for a tour which included watching a film about the Queen Mary launch, as well as a presentation on the first Queen Elizabeth launch by the Queen Mother.

 

Cunard Queen Elizabeth

Cunard's newest ship Queen Elizabeth, debuted in October 2010, which saw Queen Elizabeth II take part in more Godmother duties.

The second largest ship to be constructed for Cunard, she is the third ship in the Cunard fleet alongside Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2.

After the ship’s name was announced by Cunard in October 2007, speculation grew as to whether Queen Elizabeth II would be her Godmother and the country expressed their delight when the news they had been hoping for was announced.

On October 11th 2010 the Queen took to her duties of blessing the ship and officially naming her at a prestigious ceremony.

 

P&O Cruises Britannia

The naming of a ship plays a vital role in any ship's journey. The official naming duty is a role fit for only the finest of figures.

Ever since plans for Britannia were announced, everyone has been counting down to her arrival and gathering information. As the largest ship ever built for the British cruise market is set to feature a host of industry firsts, it made sense that there was only person fit to name this new masterpiece, Queen Elizabeth II.


Live From Britannia

20th February 2015

The tense countdown is almost over and the world is ready to say hello to the ship everyone has been waiting for, Britannia.

Announcements, predictions and intriguing speculations have kept us wanting more but P&O Cruises have remained fairly tight-lipped. Various announcements have been made over the last year including the news of her union-jack hull, the first cookery school at sea and the revealing of numerous celebrity chefs and food personalities onboard.

Iglu Cruise were invited to an exclusive Britannia visit on Sunday and were the first to see her completed design and watch her prestigious hand-over ceremony where the shipyard officially handed over Britannia to P&O Cruises.

We were one of the first to step onboard and take a tour of Britannia, meet Captain Paul Brown, taste the new menus, meet the crew and watch the emotional changing of the flags and handover.

Here are the first exclusive pictures from our day onboard...

Meeting the Captain

The Atrium

Horizon Grill 

Brodie's Bar

Crystal Room

Limelight Club

Pool Deck 

Crows Nest

The Glass House

Spa


P&O Reveal Exclusive Wine and High Street Brands For Britannia

14th November 2014

As we get closer to the arrival of Britannia, we were anticipating when the next reveal would be and sure enough it came...

The Wiston Estate

We were invited to The Wiston Estate in Sussex for an exclusive presentation from P&O Cruises about their new drinks programme onboard Britannia. The beautiful building, surrounded by stunning gardens was the perfect location to celebrate what is to be a refined and quintessentially British ship.

The Wiston Winery is owned and managed by the Goring family who have grown vineyards here since 2006. The estate and grounds are truly exquisite and produce unique wines that have become a British phenomenon.

Olly Talks Drink

After a presentation from P&O Cruises Executives showcasing everything Britannia will have to offer, famous TV Presenter and Wine Expert Olly Smith took to the stage to introduce the Wiston Sparkling Wine set to be the flagship wine of Britannia. Tasting extremely similar to champagne, it is the only drink of its kind to be produced in England. Often compared to some of the world's finest champagnes it was clear to see why this has been chosen for such an iconic ship.

It will be a bottle of this wine that will also be used to smash against the hull of Britannia during her naming ceremony.

It is not only this that will excite you on Britannia's drinks menu, P&O Cruises have devised a whole new British Beer and Ale menu. Being one of the first to catch a glimpse of this menu, we already know it is going to raise the bar in cruise drinks menus.

Keeping with the strong British inspiration, this exciting menu has been thoroughly sourced, designed and executed to really change the game for P&O’s newest member of the fleet. You will not find a selection like this on any other ship.

Some of the ales include Cotsword Way from Gloucestershire, Brentwood Gold from Essex, Old Speckled Hen from Somerset and Orange Peel from Wiltshire.

It was also revealed famous chef James Martin will be inviting a selection of celebrity friends to join him at his onboard cookery school. Two of the confirmed guests include Mary Berry and Antonio Carluccio.

From Drinks To Shopping

It is not only the new drinks menu that will ensure you fall in love with Britannia, a new retail space featuring high street brands is set to be like no other shopping area at sea.

Britannia will boast a 720-square metre retail space and feature a range of popular brands to ensure you can shop and browse to your hearts content as you would at your favourite shopping centre.

When designing Britannia, P&O thought thoroughly about how much people enjoy shopping on a cruise, especially during sea days. This lead to them wanting Britannia to have a shopping area as varied as land based shopping centres. Again, keeping with the British theme it made sense they brought popular British brands to the high seas for the first time.

Making their debut on Britannia will be:

Crew Clothing - The popular brand worn by celebrities such as Kate Middleton and Ben Fogle.

Beaverbrooks - This family owned business rapidly became a favourite on British high streets. Specialising in jewelry, diamonds and designer watches, it is the perfect store to bring to Britannia for those who want to shop for a special treat.

The White Company - A brand that became popular for their attention to detail within their clothing garments, The White Company have been trading for over 20 years. Loved for the finest cotton used in their clothing makes their range perfect for cruise clothing.

Rituals - A cruise is the perfect way to take some time out and evaluate how you look after yourself so it makes perfect sense to have a Rituals store onboard. Specialising in high quality products to enrich body and soul, it is hoped their products will influence guests to transform their daily routines. Popular products include facial care, body creams, scented candles and perfumes.

Desigual - A Spanish brand that made its way onto the British scene a few years ago to excite people with their quirky designs of clothing and handbags. They have become popular for their patchwork designs, graffiti designs and intense prints.

Chopard - The iconic swiss-based luxury watch and jewellery company have been designing watches since 1860.

Other brands available on Britannia will be Lancome, Dior, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Omega, Citizen, Tag Heur, Michael Kors, Radley and Armani Jeans.

Britannia will debut in March 2015 and sail a range of itnieraries from Southampton including Norwegian Fjords and Mediterranean.  See our Britannia Cruise Deals


First Glimpse Of Britannia - An Impressive Launch Evening

14th February 2014

Updated July 2019

There is nothing that excites us more than a new ship, and when P&O Cruises brought their incredible ship, Britannia, to the game, we couldn't wait to discover everything she'd be offering onboard. Combining classic P&O features along with a host of innovative concepts, this stunning vessel was always going to rock the boat when it comes to cruising choices!

At the time she was the biggest ship ever built for Britain, giving a sense of patriotic flare and love for the country which absolutely shone at the Britannia launch evening night.

 

 

Not only did she have our iconic flag spread proudly across her hull, every inch raised the bar in British cruising. Designed with the future in mind, while celebrating P&O Cruises' much loved past, she is sure to wow every single person that sails on her.

We all knew Britannia was launching in Spring 2015, but that was all we knew. Design, itineraries and other information remained tightly guarded. With P&O Cruises' lip’s firmly sealed for some time, the night of the launch finally saw them open with all the details we had all been waiting for.

The press release event was held by P&O Cruises at London’s prestigious Forman’s Fish Island. Advised to be an 'interactive event' we were slightly unsure of what to expect - but none the less could not wait. With so much hype and anticipation around this ship, expectations were high.

 

 

A British Welcome

Arriving in East London, we were greeted by two handsome Captains (well, dressed up Captains!) who proudly held the door open and greeted us with a typical P&O 'Welcome Aboard'.

If the 90 mile per hour gusts of wind were not sweeping us inside it would have felt like we were boarding a ship, although you could say the unsatisfying weather added to the quintessentially 'British' evening we were about to experience. Behind these doors P&O Cruises had created a mini version of feature venues to star on the new ship - a perfect sample of things to come.

Welcome to The Limelight Club

After a warm welcome from P&O officials and a glass of Champagne, we were guided to a restaurant. With a bold 'The Limelight Club' sign positioned at the entrance, it felt like walking into a restaurant on a ship. We were given a signature cocktail on the way to our table, which was refreshing and delicious.

Still in awe of everything around us, we did not even check the menu before a waitress presented plates of food that looked too good to eat. A duck pate to start, followed by Braised Daube of Beef with truffle mash and a truly divine raspberry chocolate basket to finish. This amazing meal certainly whet all the taste buds in the room for other dishes that will be served in this remarkable restaurant. Onboard Britannia, The Limelight Club offers a traditional supper club experience for adults-only, with spectacular food matched by smooth entertainment.

 

 

Show Time

In true cruise style, after our meal we hoped to see a show and that's just what we got. Ushered to our seats we were treated to a performance from the extremely talented P&O Cruises singers and dancers along with stars from the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.

The ten minute performance gave us a taste of how much effort and planning has gone into the Britannia entertainment programme. Featuring love-him or hate-him judge Craig Revel Horward, the show was a huge hit with everyone present.

After Show Wine

In high spirits from the show, we strolled into The Glasshouse for some wine and tapas. On a quaint table in the corner we sat examining the wine menu, accompanied perfectly by the intimate atmosphere. Just as we were choosing a wine to order, we looked up to see Saturday Kitchen wine specialist Olly Smith asking if we needed any assistance in choosing! Was this really happening? Not only did we feel like we were on a cruise ship, but this famous sommelier has casually strolled over and joined us. He explained the wines and tapas that were on offer and engaged with us in a very down to earth manner. What a perfect way to enjoy an evening 'onboard'.

 

 

The Cookery Club

One of the major announcements made about Britannia was about the P&O 'Food Heroes'. Britannia is set to have three famous faces working alongside each other to create the very best dining experiences on the ship. With food being a significant focus on cruises, P&O Cruises wish Britannia to represent the varied, cultural and unique food that our country loves.

The celebrity chef 'Food Heroes' are well-loved chef Marco Pierre White, wine expert Olly Smith, and skilled patissier Eric Lanlard.

In keeping with this attention to food, The Cookery Club is the first of its kind on a British ship. The spacious open kitchen will be home to a range of different cookery lessons from the renowned chefs, giving passengers the opportunity to cook alongside their heros and learn the secrets behind their signature creations.

 

 

No one expected these personalities to be at this event, but as we were sat down in a mock-up cookery school, out strolled Marco Pierre White in his typical noble manor. It felt like sitting in a live TV cookery show audience as he demonstrated how to make salted sea bass. What an experience to be able to cook alongside a famous chef onboard a cruise ship.

Anyone for a cake?

Just when we thought we had seen it all, we were drawn to the tempting scent of The Market Café. A foodie’s heaven, this café is home to just about every cake you can think of.

Made by famous patisserie Eric Lanlard, each cake has been thoroughly prepared to bring the most heavenly selection of treats at sea.

One a few of us sampled was the Gluten-free orange and almond cake with white chocolate. To say it was delicious would be an understatement!

 

 

Eric happily took us through each creation with the knowledge and enthusiasm of a true master. In fact, we spoke to all three of the food heros, and were pleased with how sociable and happy they were to answer any questions we had. They appeared just as excited as being part of Britannia as we are.

You’re saying we are not a ship?

Sitting laughing with friends, enjoying a drink and talking about our evening was pure enjoyment, and it was not until a colleague mentioned that our car was here that reality hit and we remembered where we really were. The way P&O Cruises had set up the event gave a true feeling of being onboard. Strolling from one venue to another, choosing to do what you want, having a constant flow of food and drink and genuinely enjoying your time with friends. It was a truly unique event, and one that gave a real insight into how life onboard the ship will be.

After receiving a Britannia goody bag (which included some glittery macaroons by Eric Lanyard, delicious!) we began our journey south. With big smiles on our faces and an excited buzz in the air, it was like we had just had a mini-break on the real Britannia.

The Real Thing

Our Head of Global Supply, Simone, was lucky enough to fly to Venice for the Britannia float-out ceremony when it occured, and was honoured to be part of the celebration that enabled her to get a first glimpse of the ship.

 

 

Take a look at P&O's very special ship yourself, on a fabulous Britannia cruise.


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