P&O to Introduce Circus School Onboard Ventura

January 3, 2008

While dangling from high wires and flipping about on trampolines has been the province of professionals performing in cruise ship show lounges (think
Celebrity's Cirque de Soleil-styled shows), this April P&O will be tossing the ropes to guests sailing on Ventura, the lines' upcoming new-build.

Fittingly situated high above the sea on Deck 19, the "Cirque Ventura" circus school will allow passengers to take part in circus workshops on zany subjects including tight wire, acro balance, clowning and slap-stick, break-dancing, juggling and stilt walking.

But as the real centrepiece, the area will be equipped with four bungee trampolines, which will enable passengers to spring up to 60 metres above sea level, and even more notably, a flying trapeze. The flying trapeze will
be offered in conjunction with other activities during a two-hour circus workshop, with up to eight people at a time able to participate.

Note: Ventura won't be the first cruise ship to feature bungee trampolining. Royal Caribbean introduced the wacky feature on its Enchantment of the Seas in the summer of 2005.

Classes will be led by trained professionals from the U.K. circus skills school, the Generating Company. No word yet on how the sign-up process would work, i.e. if passengers will be able to book the circus activities online,
and whether or not guests will have to pay to use the facilities and attend the workshops.

Ready to perform/make a fool of yourself in front of your fellow cruisers? On each cruise, depending of course on the level of talent and daring on hand, workshop teachers and passengers will have the chance to perform in a special presentation.

Any fearless guest aged eight and over will be ready for the show.

We were a bit curious about the safety issues that arise with such a specialized set of cruise activities. In terms of safety, it's not surprising that the activities will be "subject to strict safety regulations regarding wind, rain and swell," says P&O spokeswoman Lorraine Bryant, and if the weather prevents use of the Cirque Ventura top-deck space, some of the activities will be moved inside.

--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor