When U.K.-based P&O Cruises launches its 115,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Ventura in April 2008, it will be the largest cruise ship serving the British market -- 40 percent larger than the current leader, the line's Arcadia.
But introducing a mega-ship is only one way P&O is changing the U.K. cruise experience: According to a company press release, guests will also find cutting-edge innovations onboard with an emphasis on fine dining, modern and contemporary art, and family entertainment.
Among the highlights:
A signature restaurant, the White Room, is being created with the help of Michelin-star chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White; expect an Italian menu.
"Introduction to Modern Art" cruises will be held throughout the year, hosted by experts from Tate Modern.
Ventura will introduce a unique family-friendly eatery, the Beach House; the venue will be designed specifically for adults and children dining together.
The kids' facilities onboard Ventura will offer new programs such as rock star and circus act lessons, and character breakfasts with Noddy from PBS' children's television. There will also be a dedicated area for parents to have supervised play with tykes under the age of 2.
British designer Nick Munro will create contemporary furniture and other interior elements exclusively for the ship.
Ventura is currently under construction at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard near Trieste, Italy. Stay tuned to Cruise Critic for more information.