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P&O Cruises’ Summer 2020 Highlights

6th September 2018

P&O Cruises is excited to present their summer 2020 collection, details of which have finally been released for us to have a gander and look through! So what exactly is coming up? Well to start with, a fantastic 160 new cruises! This means even more different cruise options to choose from, and many memories to be made onboard with the UK’s favourite cruise line.

 

 

160 New Cruises and More Destinations!

With 160 new cruises it means there are plenty of destinations available for passengers to choose from, so where will P&O Cruises take you in 2020? From April 2020 to October 2020, cruises will be in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Iberia, Norway, and Iceland. Imagine a breath-taking summer in the Mediterranean with pristine beaches, and delightful scenery. But it doesn’t stop there with even more regions such as the Baltics, North America, Canada, and the British Isles as well. P&O will be offering a variety of itineraries, from short breaks to a fabulous 30-night voyage onboard Arcadia. Where will be your summer spot? With the Mediterranean being a popular favourite, will you switch it up and try summer 2020 in Iceland, or maybe Canada?



A Stunning New Ship: Iona & Her Itineraries

The launch of Iona is a popular subject in the cruise industry, and we at Iglu Cruise are certainly very excited about it! With the ship holding over 5,200 people, the saying ‘the bigger the better’ is definitely true in this sense. Iona is bringing the outside, inside with its beautiful SkyDome - the first of its kind in the industry – blurring the lines. With over 15 places to eat, more than eight specialty restaurants, and over 10 bars and lounges, Iona will surely be the ship everyone is talking about. But what about Iona’s itineraries? Iona will be offering itineraries in the Norwegian Fjords from May 2020 until September 2020. Find out more about what’s in store onboard P&O Iona.

 



More exciting itineraries

Arcadia is treating us to a 30-night itinerary to Canada & North America in September of 2020, which includes an amazing overnight call in Boston plus three full days in New York. This itinerary creates an astonishing experience to see the world famous Big Apple. Arcadia is also offering passengers a Northern Lights cruise in October 2020, giving passengers more opportunities to experience viewing the amazing Northern Lights. Aurora will be operating the only Iceland itinerary of the season, which is also going to be including an overnight call in capital city Reykjavik.

 

 

 

Excited about Iona 2020? Or about P&O summer 2020? Pre-register now to increase your chances of securing the cruise holiday of your dreams.


So You Think You Know the Mediterranean

8th January 2018

With the Mediterranean remaining the number one choice of destination for UK cruisers, we thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at some of the preconceptions, and indeed lesser known facts about this popular part of the world.

 

Home to the Original Shopping Mall

Holidaying in the Mediterranean will inevitably involve some souvenir-buying, and most tourists will visit local markets and bazaars for these. But did you know that today’s large, commercial shopping malls actually originated in the Mediterranean? The first complex of this type was constructed in Rome by Emperor Trajan, in the early part of the 2nd century. His emporium is thought to have been filled with all kinds of wares, from spices and foods, to clothing and material.

 

The Same Festivals Celebrated Differently

Festivals like Easter and Christmas are celebrated in most Mediterranean countries. At these times you’ll notice traditions like those in the UK, such as street parades and glittering decorations, but there also some less familiar customs:

• In Valencia, Spain, for instance, you might see flour-throwing on December 28th – The Day of the Innocents

• On Easter Saturday in Corfu you’ll need to keep your wits about you, to avoid injury during the popular pottery-smashing ritual

The Med is Home to some of the UK’s Favourite Foods

Most visitors to the Mediterranean like to explore new foods and try all the best local cuisine, and it may come as a surprise to learn that in fact, many of the most popular foods we eat in the UK have origins here. It’s no secret that favourites like pizza and pasta hail from Italy, but there are also some treats that might not be expected:

• Fruit cake and bacon are thought to have first been introduced by the Romans in Italy

• ‘Fish and Chips’ actually originated in Portugal and Spain

• It’s thought that the creation of pies began with the Ancient Greeks

 

Mediterranean Languages Have Influenced English

Many European languages have borrowed words from one another throughout history, and the English language itself has been shaped by a great number of words from the Mediterranean.

• French - we have France to thank for words like ‘menu’ and ‘restaurant’

• Spanish - Spain has given us the likes of ‘mosquito’, ‘patio’, and ‘vanilla’

• Italian - we use ‘camera’, ‘temperature’, and ‘zero’, from Italy

• Greek - ‘Phobia’, ‘ethos’, and ‘plethora’ all have origins in the Greek language.

Over 20 Countries and States Have Mediterranean Coast

When we think of ‘The Mediterranean’, it’s not uncommon to mention the likes of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, but in fact, more than 20 recognised states enjoy the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea on their shores. Here are a few more to explore on a Mediterranean cruise:

1. Gibraltar

2. Spain

3. France

4. Monaco

5. Italy

6. Malta

7. Slovenia

8. Croatia

9. Montenegro

10. Albania

11. Greece

12. Cyprus

13. Turkey

 

Cruising in the Mediterranean

As a long-standing, popular holiday destination, and with plenty of pretty ports to choose from, it makes sense that a great number of cruise companies offer itineraries in this part of the world. The UK’s favourite cruise line, P&O Cruises, offers a brilliant range of itineraries in and around The Med. This could be a great option for families, not only because of P&O Cruises’ onboard features, but also because Mediterranean countries are just a short flight from the UK. Or, if you’d prefer not to fly however, P&O Cruises also offer no-fly cruises departing from the UK.

Family Cruising in the Mediterranean

What makes P&O Cruises perfect for a family cruise in the Mediterranean?

 

 

5 ships in P&O Cruises' fleet of 8 have been designed with the wants and needs of families in mind, which means that they offer some of the best activities, entertainment, and family-friendly dining options at sea. Children are welcome in all onboard restaurants, each serving a wide variety of foods to cater for guests of all ages. The entertainment on the ships has also been well thought out to appeal to everyone. The stunning Once upon a time show is a particular favourite among families.

If you do fancy spending a special evening together, without the little ones, be sure to take advantage of P&O Cruises’ onboard kids club: The Reef. This is split into four age groups thereby ensuring that each child can access activities and entertainment materials suitable for them. This might be a soft play area, puzzles, books, or video games for example.

Another great aspect of cruising with P&O Cruises in the Mediterranean is the excursions. P&O Cruises offer a fantastic range, from exploring Rome’s infamous colosseum, taking a trolley train ride in Malta, to river rafting in Croatia, there will undoubtedly be something to suit every age group. Discover just how many places you could see, and what adventures you could have with your family on a P&O Cruises' Mediterranean cruise.


Ventura's Onboard Activities

16th April 2014

Following on from my last blog post where I gave you a glimpse of my recent trip onboard P&O Cruises’ Ventura, I feel like there is still so much to tell you about this wonderful ship.

One of the main questions I have been asked about my trip is 'What did you do onboard?' This led me to think people, particularly first time cruisers have apprehensions about the type of activities available onboard.

P&O Cruises are home to a jam-packed schedule of intriguing activities. From learning something new, relaxed activities and thrilling adventures there is something for everyone. 

Aside from the obvious things like watching a show, taking part in a trivia or dining, I wanted to let you know about the more unusual activities that she has to offer.

With this in mind, here are my top 5 alternative activities on Ventura...

Fruit Carving

We all gasp with amazement when we walk into the buffet restaurant and see a face carved from watermelon or an animal made from bananas. I guarantee you either think to yourself or say to your travelling partner 'How do they do that?' P&O Cruises have made it possible for you to learn, so of course I had to try this during my trip.

After a short introduction from one of the professional fruit carvers (aka a chef!) he explained the techniques behind the carving before giving us our tools and talking us through our creation. Before I knew it, standing in front of me was a cute penguin made from fruit, amazing!

A really fun activity that I can share with friends and use to make table decorations for events and dinner parties.

Type of activity: Creative

Good for: Adults, Couples, Singles, Families

Cost: Complimentary

Wine Tasting

I am not a huge wine drinker, but maybe that is because I have never took an interest in learning about it. From working onboard I was always intrigued by how much there is to know about wine and its background, so Ventura was my opportunity to see if it is as fascinating as people make out.

Set in Olly Smith’s Glass House a group of us sat around a large table eagerly waiting for our wine tasting experience to begin. The wine master who conducted the event was fantastic, he was extremely patient, answered all of our questions and enlightened us on more than I even expected about wine. From how they are made, what pair them with, how to drink them and what to look for on a wine bottle – it truly inspired me about this exciting wine culture I knew nothing about.

I now know so many interesting wine facts that I may share the next time I have a dinner party or am trying to impress at a bar but more importantly I know exactly what to look for when I am choosing a wine and how to match it with food.

Type of activity: Informative

Good for: Adults, Groups, Couples, Singles

Cost: Complimentary

Dance Lesson

Have you always wanted to learn to dance but never had the time, funds or confidence? It's a yes from me. Every time I am on a ship I love to watch guests enjoying themselves on the dance floor, but it always fascinates me how they have such perfect coordination and know exactly how to move to each song.

A cruise is the perfect opportunity for a dance lesson, you are in holiday mood (we are always slightly more daring on holiday), no-body knows you, you do not have to sign up for a course of lessons, you are with other people that have never danced and you will be taught by a professional dancer chosen by P&O Cruises.

Type of activity: Learning something new

Good for: Singles, Couples

Cost: Complimentary

Adult-only Shuffle Board

Shuffle board is a popular American game that has slowly been introduced to the British crowd, especially cruisers. I have always watched guests play this game but not been able to understand the concept of the game. Apart from asking someone up front how to play, I felt like I was never going to learn…until I was on my recent cruise.

Ventura host friendly and competitive shuffleboard competitions and the opportunity to learn the game.

I was surprised with the patience of the crew member that showed me how to play and I certainly felt ready to enter myself into the competition.

Type of activity: Competitive

Good for: Adults, Couples, Singles, Groups

Cost: Complimentary

Behind the Scenes Tour

I do not believe anyone that goes on a cruise and doesn’t think about the behind the scenes operation at least once. From how the ship is maneuvered, where the crew live, the culinary operation or how the engines work, it is certainly an incredible operation.

As I used to work on cruise ships I am aware of the large operations behind a working ship but this would not stop me from signing up to a behind the scenes tour and every cruise line has different procedures that amaze me once again.

Hosted by a senior member of staff, they will take you around the galley, behind the theatre and around the engine room before ending on the bridge with champagne and small snacks.

Type of activity: Exclusive

Good for: Adults, Groups, Singles, Families

Cost: Approx £75 per person


By Sally Grimes


Destination Focus: World Cruises 2014

3rd September 2012

Today marks the beginning of P&O Cruises and Cunard Line's 2014 World Cruises going on sale. The brochures have long been printed, posted and stacked on shelves, and in little over 48 hours we will be able to get our mitts on all the best deals as they trickle open the bookings process.

So, what are we looking forward to with the 2014 World Cruises?

First of all there's the ships.

Cunard are world renowned for circumnavigating the globe. Queen Mary 2, with her vast size, imperial feel and traditional, high-class standards never fail to impress. Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, the twin-like sister ships, are more modern ships, but still offer a traditional, British Empire feel. Cunard offer the ultimate in large ship world cruising luxury, and though this is nothing new, it still excites us.

P&O Cruises have gone with a variety of ships for this years World Cruises. Adonia is the ship that stands out for me. She is much smaller than a the rest of the P&O fleet, but this means access to more intimate ports — that larger ships can't get to — and a more exclusive atmosphere onboard, all wrapped in P&O's traditional, yet modern, British approach to cruising. With Aurora and Arcadia also sailing around the world they are also offering an adult-only mid-sized ship and a family-friendly P&O favourite.

World Cruises aren't limited to a full round the world in 80 days experience, in fact most people tend to book a World Cruise Sector, meaning you get to pick a section of the itinerary with the destinations you would like to visit. So, what's exciting for 2014?

Any sectors departing from or arriving in Southampton are always popular, with San Francisco to Southampton and Southampton to Cape Town the pick of the bunch according to Dave Mills, our renowned Head of Commercial.

There is a fantastic trip from Southampton to Hong Kong which I would love to go on. The adult-only Adonia takes in Cairo, transits along the Suez Canal before visiting diverse and intriguing destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Manila and Hong Kong — that's more culture in one cruise then many people would come across in a lifetime!

Another trip which really stands out to me is Southampton to Rio onboard Queen Victoria. The opportunity to visit Rio, Montevideo and Buenos Aires in style, before a relaxing cruise home.

These exotic 2014 World Voyages go on sale from:

  • 3rd Sep - for P&O Cruises Peninsular Club Passengers
  • 4th Sep - General Sale for P&O Cruises
  • 5th Sep - General Sale for Cunard

There are some fantastic early booking benefits to entice you, if getting your preferred cabin and dining times aren't enough, which include:

  • Up to £1100/$1800 Onboard spending money
  • Free Airport Parking on many cruises
  • Free Regional flight on many cruises
  • Free 1Nt or 3Nt Hotel City Stay

If cruising around the world or visiting some unique destinations is on the agenda for 2014, then now's the time to take to book a cruise, especially with the new Vantage Fares offering the best value that P&O Cruises and Cunard Line have ever boasted.

Here's the full selection of 2014 World Cruise deals.


P&O Cruises Celebrity Chef Cruises

5th September 2011

As mentioned earlier this summer celebrity chef appearances onboard cruise ships are becoming more and more popular. To showcase this P&O Cruises, Britain's favourite cruise line, have put together a programme of ship visit from two of Britain's favourite chefs and the country's favourite wine expert.

P&O Cruises have been synonymous with food for years and currently boast restaurants including the former three Michelin Star Marco Pierre White. The ship also have only recently broke ties with the quintessentially British, TV chef Gary Rhodes. But what is the point of boasting restaurants from world-class chefs, unless they will actually be making onboard appearances?

Well, P&O Cruises have finally given us a list of dates that these two fabulous chefs will be onboard their ships. They are a wide variety of itineraries that range from world cruise sectors to Med cruises, and each chef will be onboard the ships for four days at at time. Though these are all longer itineraries as opposed to the mini cruises that have boasted guest appearances including Derren Brown in the past, it means as part of your holiday you will have ample opportunity across the four days to meet these great characters, watch their skills in action and taste their creations.

Marco Pierre White will be gracing six of P&O Cruises' fleet in 2012, visiting the White Room and showing off his skills in his usually fiery demeanor, no doubt. The three Michelin star chef only handed back his stars when he swapped the kitchen for a more behind the scenes role as a restaurateur, but as we often see with his TV appearances, he skill's have not lessened for it. Between April and October next year he will make two four-day appearances on the Ventura, plus one four-day appearance on each of the Adonia, Arcadia, Aurora, Oceana and Oriana.

Marco Pierre White's dates onboard:

  • Oriana from 07/01 to 10/01
  • Ventura from 03/04 to 07/04
  • Aurora from 11/06 to 14/06
  • Oceana from 30/06 to 03/07
  • Adonia from 12/08 to 15/08
  • Ventura from 16/09 to 19/09
  • Arcadia from 20/10 to 23/10

 

If that isn't enough for you, or you are more interested in finding the right tipple to accompany the already fantastic food on your cruise, then why not join the charismatic and clearly eccentric wine expert, Olly Smith, onboard the Azura. The Glass House is his baby and has fast become a signature of Azura's excellence. Olly Smith personally selects all the wine for this superb venue and has also put together taster menus, with food and wine flavours perfectly matched. His infectious love of fermented grapes and his unquestionable knowledge of all things vino will keep you entertained and leave you ready to take on the vast choices on offer from Waitrose to boutique wine cellars.

Olly Smiths's dates onboard:

  • Azura from 15/04 to 18/04
  • Azura from 19/05 to 22/05
  • Azura from 14/07 to 16/07
  • Azura from 19/11 to 23/11

These visits may not necessarily tempt you into a cruise, but if you weren't sure of the entertainment and food onboard, this news should settle your nerves. For those who have already booked, then the demonstrations, tastings and chance to meet these three fab Brits will surely entice you away from your sun lounger.

Now, if only they would get the Hairy Bikers onboard — because that definitely would get me onboard!


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