|As the April 2008 launch date approaches for P&O's latest new-build Ventura, the U.K.-based brand has announced a wide-ranging, ambitious series of European and Caribbean itineraries for the vessel's inaugural year. |
Ventura will homeport in Southampton from April to October, offering various sailings of between 2 and 16 nights to the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea and Atlantic Isles. Highlights include "Tranquil Fjords" sailing June 13 to 20, 2008 with calls in Bergen, Flaam, Olden, Nordfjord and Stavanger; and "An Indian Summer" sailing October 10 to 24, 2008 with calls in Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Elba, Rome (Civitavecchia), Alicante and Gibraltar.
There also will be six special "Tate Talks" art-themed cruises, offering an enriching program of talks, interviews and creative workshops in conjunction with the Tate Modern. On four additional special cruises, British celebrity chef and creator of Ventura's White Room restaurant, Marco Pierre White, will be onboard to discuss all things gourmet with guests in an intimate dinnertime setting; there also will be book signings and photograph opportunities.
Following a trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise, Ventura will offer its British passenger base a somewhat unconventional series of 14-night Caribbean fly-cruise itineraries (from a variety of U.K. gateways), sailing roundtrip from Barbados. Instead of following the mega-ship norm of repeating or alternating seven-night itineraries, Ventura plans to sail a varied selection of longer holidays. For example, the "Paradise Isles" itinerary, sailing from November 21 through December 5, 2008 will feature calls in Antigua, Grand Turk, Cayo Levantado, St. Kitt's, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Tortola, Dominica and St. Vincent.
Onboard, guests will find several novel features including a rock 'n' roll school for kids, a 3D movie theater and a Grand Prix racing game. For more on Ventura's amenities, check out our First Glimpse.
For an interactive virtual tour of Ventura, visit www.virtualventura.co.uk.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor