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History of Cruising

In what were probably the very earliest cruise itineraries Arthur Anderson suggested a journey of Scotland and Iceland in the summer and the Mediterranean cruises in the winter. It was only a couple of years later when Anderson co-founded Peninsular Steam Navigation Company. However, foreign travel only really became fashionable among the rich due to the new wealth of the industrial revolution. The word POSH, coincidentally, has nautical and monetary roots and due to the intense sun refers to the cooler side of a ship in which to occupy cabin space on the early Indian cruises.

Port Out Starboard Home later shortened to 'posh' was only affordable by the wealthiest of society. In the early days of cruising the choice of destination was limited to transatlantic ports. However, due to advancements in technology and the effects of globalisation, cruises now take in the all of the worlds popular destinations such as Europe, the Caribbean and the far away reaches of Alaska, to name a few.

1904 saw Peninsular Steam Navigation Company offer its first cruise holiday programme on a first class only basis. In the mid 1960’s Peninsular Steam Navigation Company absorbed the orient steam navigation company forming what would become the world’s largest cruise company Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, better known as P&O Cruises. In the early 1980’s Carnival Cruise Lines used TV advertising in the US for the first time and promoted cruising as a viable, achievable form of leisure travel and stamped the industry on popular culture.

In today’s modern world, far removed from the single ship fleet of past generations, P&O have with more than 60 ships and 13 brands. Cruise companies now cater for a wide mix of demographic. Gone are the days of the cruise only being the domain of the old and rich. The cruise product mix has evolved to encompass short 2 day cruises aimed at younger age groups, celebrating a special occasion such as birthdays or even hen nights. Cruises are considerably cheaper and now, more than ever, in reach of the mass market.

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