The World's Oldest Cruise Line: Celebrate P&O Cruises' 175th Anniversary Grand Event

July 4, 2012

P&O Cruises' Grand Event –- in which the line's seven ships met in Southampton on 3 July –- was the culmination of 175 years of history. The occasion was marked with a visit by Royalty, HRH The Princess Royal, and a celebratory "daytime pyrotechnics" display as each ship left port.

Those 15,000-plus passengers on the seven ships, embarking to points across the world, had an extraordinary send-off (complete with ‘flutterfetti' and the pyrotechnics), but for those onshore and in small boats in the Solent, the event also proved memorable.

During the event, Cruise Critic reported live from a boat in the Solent, so check out all our coverage of the big day located below.

Slideshow: P&O's Grand Event
Despite the uncooperative British summer, P&O's Grand Event was a smashing success. See the top photos from the day.

Blog: Words from our Winner
What did our Grand Event contest winner think about her prize? Get the story in her own words.

Slideshow: P&O's 175 Years
P&O can trace its routes back to 1837, with the formation of the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company (PSNC). Ogle the vintage gallery.
P&O's Grand Event: What's Special
Wait -- didn't another venerable British line (Cunard) just stage a massive celebration? Here's why P&O's Grant Event will be different.
Southampton Preps for Huge Crowds
On 3 July, seven ships and some 30,000 passengers will descend on Southampton for an unprecedented event.
Poll: Best P&O Ship of All Time?
As we look back at P&O's amazing 175 years of history, we're wondering: What's your favourite P&O ship, past or present? Vote here.

Launched: 2010
Tonnage: 115,000 gt.
Passengers: 3,100
Launched: 2008
Tonnage: 116,000 gt.
Passengers: 3,080
Launched: 2005
Tonnage: 83,781 gt.
Passengers: 1,950
Launched: 2001
Tonnage: 30,200 gt.
Passengers: 710
Launched: 2000
Tonnage: 77,000 gt.
Passengers: 2,016
Launched: 2000
Tonnage: 76,000 gt.
Passengers: 2,000
Launched: 1995
Tonnage: 69,000 gt.
Passengers: 1,800