(7:45 a.m. EDT) -- P&O Cruises has revealed a number of onboard highlights on its new ship Britannia, including the first cookery school onboard a British ship -- featuring a host of celebrity chefs.
TV chef James Martin will develop The Cookery Club along with P&O regulars Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochar and wine guru Olly Smith, as well as Eric "Cake Boy" Lanlard, as part of Britannia's "Food Heroes".
P&O has also revealed the new ship's maiden itineraries which include the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Norway, the Baltic and the Caribbean.
Some of the ship's new features include:
•13 bars and 13 different places to eat
•Three tier feature atrium with a Star Burst sculpture, Eric Lanlard patisserie, a charcuterie and gelateria
•Popular eateries from other ships Sindhu from Atul Kochhar and Olly Smith's The Glass House
•Oasis Spa and open deck Retreat
•Four swimming pools including a Serenity “quiet zone” pool and bar
•The Limelight Club -- a combined entertainment and dining venue in the tradition of the supper club
•936-seat state of the art theatre with LED screen
•The Crystal Room –- dedicated to all types of dance
•A dedicated supervised children's club for ages 2-17 including a dedicated teens' area.
The ship will also feature The Studio -- multi-purpose “TV studio” for guest speakers, talks, demonstrations, cinema screenings, radio plays or game shows -- the same as on Princess Cruises' Royal Princess.
P&O Cruises marketing director Christopher Edgington said: “Britannia will showcase an incredible array of facilities for children and teenagers including dedicated teens pool area and we have ensured that our prices remain constant throughout the year irrespective of the timing of the peak school holiday periods. We are conscious of the hardship families face when taking holidays at these time and are therefore committed to fair pricing throughout the year.”
Pre-registration opens today (February 13, 2014) and the general on-sale date is Thursday March 27, 2014.
The maiden cruise will be a 14-night cruise to Spain, Italy and France, departing March 14. Prices start at £1,149 per person.
--By Adam Coulter UK Editor