Top P&O Cruises Ships
P&O Cruises has a fleet of eight ships offering holidays tailored to British tastes. Its larger and more modern ships -- Britannia, Azura, Ventura, Arcadia and Oceana -- are contemporary and innovative, with a focus on a new-to-cruising younger crowd as well as attracting seasoned cruisers. Aurora and Oriana offer a more traditional cruise experience.
Adonia, Arcadia and Oriana are exclusively for adults; the rest of the fleet welcomes families of all ages and has supervised children's clubs offering round the clock entertainment for children aged two to 17-years-old.
Passengers cruising on Britannia, Azura, Ventura, Arcadia and Oceana can choose Club Dining (traditional set seating) or Freedom Dining, where they can choose where to eat and when. Aurora and Oriana offer Club Dining; All ships have speciality restaurants as well as main dining rooms and Azura and Ventura have more than ten different places to eat.
P&O Cruises places a strong emphasis on cuisine and has numerous tie-ups with celebrity chefs, including Marco Pierre White and Atul Kochhar, whose speciality Indian restaurant, Sindhu, is on Azura, Britannia and Ventura. Wine guru Olly Smith's The Glass House -- a wine bar for which he has selected more than 30 different wines, all available by the glass and paired with gastro pub tapas style light bites -- is on Azura, Ventura and Britannia.
Britannia saw tie-ups with even more celebrity chefs, amongst them TV-favourite James Martin and master patissier Eric "Cake Boy" Lanlard; as well as The Cookery Club -- the first at sea.
P&O Cruises made the astute move to link up with the wildly popular Strictly Come Dancing series, and you'll find 'Strictly' cruises on different ships throughout the year with guest appearances from pro dancers and judges.
Fitness and spa facilities took a leap forward with The Retreat on Azura -- an adults-only covered and open air spa haven which is also on on Ventura and Britannia.
The ships sail from Southampton from April to October and while some ships remain there year round, others offer Caribbean cruising from Barbados or longer world voyages.
The fleet flies the British flag, and the new livery makes no secret of their heritage (and leads to ongoing issues in Argentina); but all ships except Britannia are registered in Bermuda to allow for weddings at sea which are conducted by the captain and are extremely popular. Britannia is registered in Southampton due to European tonnage tax laws.
As the ships differ markedly from each other, and the duration of the cruises the company offers range from two nights to more than 100, the passengers they attract depends largely on what ship and what cruise you are on.
Broadly speaking, in school holidays on the family-friendly ships, expect a thirty- to forty-something crowd and a lot of kids. On the adults-only ships the age range spikes significantly, and averages around 55- to 65-years-old.
However, there is one common denominator: whatever ship you're on you'll be travelling with Brits.