P&O Cruises - tradition meets eleganceIf you are asked for the 5 o'clock tea on a maritime crossing in the afternoon, then it is likely that you are traveling on a P&O Cruises cruise ship. The traditional cruise line from England, based in Southampton, emphasizes the rituals that are essential in the United Kingdom. The currently six ships are always “very British” - you have to know that when you book on the Britannia, Aurora, Azura, Oceana, Ventura or Arcadia. As of May 2020, the fleet will be supported by the new cruise ship Iona.
All ships, routes and prices.
|Ship||Construction year / Renovations|
|Arcadia||2005 / 2018|
|Aurora||2000 / 2019|
|Azura||2010 / 2018|
|Britannia||2015 / 2018|
|Oceana||2002 / 2018|
|Ventura||2008 / 2018|
Bewertung der Schiffe
||Wir waren sehr zufrieden continue reading...||Yes|
||mehr Schein als Sein continue reading...||No|
||für uns eine schöne Route continue reading...||Yes|
||weder schlecht noch wirklich gut continue reading...||No|
||Positiv überrascht! continue reading...||Yes|
More than 175 years of experience at sea
The cruise line: with love for tradition
For lovers of the British lifestyle
One should not have quick (pre-) judgments: the British lifestyle has its own peculiarities and is nevertheless extremely charming, so that there are arguments to opt for a cruise on a P&O Cruises ship. However, the cruise ship guest should be able to speak the English because the on-board language is English - just like on numerous international ships. But there are other important reasons to start your journey with P&O Cruises. The range of cruises is diverse - world tours and transatlantic cruises are also part of the program - the price-performance ratio is attractive and the cruise ships are modern and comfortably equipped. They also offer a varied entertainment, sports and wellness program at a high, contemporary level. P&O Cruises has another special feature: the ships are divided into those that are reserved exclusively for adult passengers under the motto "For Adults Only". It is the Arcadia and as of May 2020 also the Iona. Five other cruise ships, the Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana and Ventura, are "made for everyone" according to the cruise line. In terms of their equipment and range, these five ships focus heavily on family, but also appeal to groups of friends and all those who want to be entertained in a variety of ways and appreciate a lively atmosphere on board.
Brilliant times in the British Empire
P&O Cruises prides itself on having more than 175 years of experience and tradition. Of course, this can be documented historically - but P&O Cruises, the current provider of cruises, shows a completely different face than the original company. The company was founded in 1834 under the name Peninsular Steam Navigation Company. In the following decades, it developed into one of the leading cruise lines worldwide and a flagship company of the British Empire. At the beginning, the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company offered passages to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar) with the William Fawcett, hence the suffix "Peninsula".
This was followed by a contract with the British admiralty for mail transportation, first for crossings to India, then also to Australia and New Zealand. Even the routes from Australia to the US Pacific ports and Vancouver / Canada were soon served. This geographic expansion prompted the company to expand its name so that it was renamed Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, Ltd. (P&O) came. At that time P&O Cruises was perhaps the most important cruise line in the world.
But the 20th century with its armed conflicts took its toll and changed conditions and opportunities for the success of the cruise line. One difficulty followed the next. During the First World War, P&O Cruises had to complain about the loss of ships and their crews. Then the global economic crisis and the Second World War led to setbacks. After the Second World War, the independence efforts of the colonies and the increasing air traffic affected the development of the cruise line.
The company did not come to rest after that either. This was followed by a merger with the Orient Steam Navigation Company to form P&O Orient Line Ltd., restructuring and in 1974 the purchase of Princess Cruises to expand the passenger area. In 1988 the Italian Sitmar group was taken over and in 2000 the AIDA Cruises which was under construction. Finally, in 2003, the entire cruise division went to Carnival Corporation & plc, currently the largest cruise company in the world. AIDA Cruises and Princess Cruises operate there as their own brands, as does P&O Cruises with its currently six passenger ships.
Britannia: the flagship
The Britannia, built at the Fincantieri shipyard, is one of the family ships of P&O Cruises. It enjoys a special position not only because of its historic name, which was originally only allowed to be used by the British royal yacht. As the newest and largest fleet member, it is also the flagship of the cruise line. Queen Elizabeth II became the godmother when the Britannia went into service in March 2015. The Britannia distinguishes itself from its older sisters with a new color design. It shows a blue chimney adorned by a rising sun - a reference to the oriental part of the company name Penisular and Oriental Cruises (P&O). A 94-meter-long Union Jack, the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, also adorns the bow of the ship.
The Britannia is as sophisticated as it is glamorous and offers 3,647 passengers in 1,837 cabins on 15 decks an attractive temporary home. 1,350 crew members take care of the passengers on the 330 meter long and 44 meter wide ship. The highlights of this latest addition to the fleet: as the first ship of P&O Cruises, it has the Market Café, the Limelight Club and a cooking studio on board. The Oasis Spa, the largest and most luxurious aboard a P&O Cruises ship, also ensures well-being.
Suites and cabins: P&O Cruises offers a wide variety of categories so that cruise guests can find a cabin or suite tailored to their needs. Basically all cabins and suites have air conditioning and even in the lowest category there is enough space for relaxing hours in the private retreat area. No matter in which category guests book, in every cabin / suite they will find mineral water upon arrival and bathroom products from The White Company.
The Britannia offers the following cabin categories: inside cabin, large inside cabin, single inside cabin, balcony cabin, balcony cabin with restricted view, single balcony cabin and superior deluxe balcony cabin. The suite is also available. As special extras, it offers a butler service (optional), bathrobes, a selection of newspapers and magazines, atlas and binoculars, a fruit basket, flowers, champagne and chocolate upon arrival, as well as delicious canapés every day.
For whom is the Britannia suitable: if you appreciate modern amenities on a crossing and want a classic ambience, the Britannia is the right place for you. P&O Cruises goes its own way with it: comfort and sophisticated equipment combine with the feeling of a classic cruise, without fun, action and long-term fun. With this concept, the Britannia is also interesting for German cruise guests. If you have at least basic knowledge of English (onboard language is English) and you appreciate not only being among Germans on vacation, a cruise on the Britannia is a very good choice. The Britannia is one of the family ships of P&O Cruises, which means there are children's clubs for all ages - from toddlers to teenagers. Special features are a night kindergarten and a pool deck for teenagers only.
Aurora: elegant eye-catcher
With a passenger capacity of 1,874, the Aurora is a medium-sized cruise ship that is an eye-catcher in every cruise port thanks to its elegantly graduated stern. The 270 meter long and 32 meter wide ship was built at the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg. In Hamburg, at Blohm & Voss, the elegant lady was rebuilt and modernized in 2019 so that she now presents herself new and chic. The Aurora is one of the family ships of P&O Cruises and accordingly offers a variety of activities for young and old. The ship, which was baptized by Lady Anne, the eldest daughter of the Queen, has a classic British design. It is particularly popular for cruises around the world.
Arcadia: adults only
The glass outdoor elevators and an art collection with around 3000 works are the special features of the Arcadia. The 285 meter long and almost 30 meter wide ship built at the Fincantieri shipyard, which can accommodate 2,094 passengers, is reserved for adults only. The Arcadia radiates classic elegance with a hint of extravagance and promises a high level of wellbeing. Above all, the Arcadia is a paradise for gourmets who can enter new culinary territory in the various restaurants and bars.
Azura: partying and dancing
The Azura (built at the Fincantieri shipyard) is one of the larger P&O Cruises ships with a passenger capacity of 3,100 and a tonnage of 115,000 GT. The family ship is known for the fact that the dance floors and clubs are always well frequented. Otherwise, the Azura offers entertainment and variety for all needs. Youngsters can have fun in the children's club, while adults can enjoy the tranquility in “The Retreat” and, if they wish, be pampered with open-air treatments. The Azura also offers a wide range of culinary delights. In addition to the main restaurants, you can feast to your heart's content in Sindhu, Seventeen and Glass House.
Oceana: Caribbean flair
Anyone entering the Oceana will immediately think they are on vacation. The palm trees in the atrium create a Caribbean feeling and the glass elevators add a touch of luxury. The Oceana is especially popular for its casual and relaxed atmosphere. She is a medium-sized ship with a length of 261 meters and a width of 32 meters (built at the Fincantieri shipyard) and invites families on varied cruises. With normal occupancy, 2,016 passengers are on board, who are well looked after by 870 crew members. A specialty of Oceana are its bars, for example the Magnums, the Winners Sportbar and the Yacht & Compass, a pub in the English style.
Ventura: fun, games and sports
Families and children are warmly welcomed on the Ventura, which with a passenger capacity of 3,078 is one of the larger sisters of the P&O fleet (built at the Fincantieri shipyard). The range of restaurants, bars, sports facilities, games, shows and fun is correspondingly large. The entertainment on the 290 meter long and 36 meter wide ship is particularly convincing. There is a choice of stage shows and cinema films at the theater, cabaret and comedy in the two show lounges and a large plasma video wall in the Metropolis Bar. Those who need exercise after all the culinary delights during the cruise will find themselves in the well-equipped gym on the sports field and ample opportunity at the four pools.
All inclusive, beverage packages: full board and room service
There is no all-inclusive offer on the cruise ships of P&O Cruises - the concept provides for full board. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner at the designated restaurants (see deck plan). These include the respective main restaurants, buffet restaurants, pizzerias, barbecues and snack stands. Also included in the travel price are the service in the cabins and suites and an English style afternoon tea. An extra service fee must be paid when visiting the specialty restaurants.
At P&O Cruises for families there is not “all inclusive” but “a lot included”. On the family ships Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana and Ventura, participation in the children and youth clubs is included. The discos, activities and children's dinner can also be used without a surcharge. The travel price also includes: use of the swimming pools and fitness studio with sauna and / or steam bath, sports such as football, basketball, use of the golf tees, participation in the entertainment program with shows, live music, dance lessons and deck parties and seminars on special topics.
Good to know - this awaits you on board and ashore
Onboard language: The onboard language is English. German speaking staff is not to be expected.
Dress code: There are two dress codes aboard the cruise ships of P&O Cruises: Dress code 1 is called “Evening Casual” (casual look). Sporty, elegant wardrobes are in demand for every evening. The men wear comfortable pants and shirts or shirts, the women a combination of pants or skirt with a top or a dress. Tracksuits, jerseys, shorts and sports shoes are not desirable in the evening at the restaurants.
Dresscode 2 applies to special evenings on board, such as the gala dinner, and is titled "Black Tie" (festive glamor). The men choose tuxedo or dark suit with tie, the women cocktail dresses, ball gowns or elegant costumes.
Children, babies, families, singles: the cruise ships of P&O Cruises are divided into family ships and adult ships. Children and babies are only allowed on the family ships. Babies usually have to be at least six months old if they are to be on board. On selected cruises, P&O Cruises offers special cabins for singles (single travelers).
Service on board: P&O Cruises scores with excellent service to enable guests to enjoy a completely carefree holiday. Lying by the pool, always fresh towels and pillows and bedtime sweet. Luggage racks are ready and waiting for the passengers upon arrival. Each cabin has a personal cabin steward who takes care of the well-being of the guests. If you have booked a suite, you can even enjoy a butler. The daily onboard newspaper "Horizon" provides information about all offers of the following day, so that nothing stands in the way of good planning.
Audience on board: the P&O Cruises ships are geared towards English-speaking guests. The onboard announcements and the onboard newspaper are also in English.
Internet, WiFi and telephone: All P&O Cruises ships have WiFi on board. Anyone who dials in must pay a fee. Internet speed may be reduced if the connection is made via satellite. Anyone who uses their mobile phone on board uses the maritime network and may have to expect high costs.
Gratuities: excellent service should be rewarded, P&O Cruises considers an amount of £ 5.50 per passenger per night. This amount is automatically debited to the onboard account and later paid 100 percent to cabin stewards, butlers and waiters. Guests are free to adjust this amount according to their wishes. If you want, you are invited to offer a gratuity to the service staff of your choice.
Smoking: smoking is prohibited in many areas at P&O Cruises, including public areas, cabins, balconies, restaurants, corridors and elevators. Smoking is only permitted in specially designated areas (which can be found with the help of the deck plan).
Boarding pass, boarding account and onboard credit: each passenger receives a boarding pass that serves as a key to the cabin or suite and can be used as a means of payment. All expenses (on-board currency is the British pound) are debited to the onboard account, which is settled at the end of the journey. Most cruises at P&O Cruises offer onboard credit that can be used to pay for all extras on board. The onboard credit cannot be refunded and must not be transferred to another person.
Beverage packages: anyone who wants to have their expenses for beverages under control can opt for a beverage package. A soft drinks package and a wine package are available. Alcohol may not be brought on board.
Cabins and suites for the disabled: a limited number of cabins with barrier-free access are available aboard the P&O Cruises ships. Anyone who uses a wheelchair or is dependent on other special facilities must state this upon booking. Disabled guests must travel with a companion who can provide assistance.
Experience and ratings: the ratings and experience reports on the ships of P&O Cruises are - according to the orientation of the cruise line- mostly on English-language portals. The cruise line achieved good marks for the price-performance ratio, the service and the good culinary offer. Families in particular, who often have very different requirements, exchange their experiences intensively and place their assessments with regard to the offer. Families rate the childcare and activities for children as good to very good.
Offers and deals: P&O Cruises offers good value for money and is therefore also popular with families. Nevertheless, it is worth looking out for special offers and deals. Whether extra onboard credit or special drinks packages - with current offers and discounts, there can be real bargains on cruises.
Suites and cabins: comfortable and with enough space
Basically, all cabins and suites at P&O Cruises have air conditioning and even in the cheaper categories there is enough space for relaxing hours in the private retreat area. The standard features include a tea and coffee maker, refrigerator, hairdryer, safe, TV and free toiletries in the bathroom. A personal cabin steward takes care of the guests' concerns. Another special feature of P&O Cruises: a free cabin service is available around the clock. P&O Cruises offers the following cabins and suites:
Inside cabins: there are two single beds that can be converted into a king-size bed if required. The bathrooms have a shower, bath and toilet or shower and toilet. There is a large mirror.
Outside cabins: the equipment corresponds to the inside cabins, but a porthole window or a panoramic window offers a view of the sky and the sea.
Balcony cabins: in addition to the equipment in the outside cabins, guests will find a table and chairs in the balcony cabins. And there is a large glass door that leads to a balcony with a table and deck chairs.
Suites: the suites offer more space according to the category. They are equipped with single beds that can be converted into a king-size bed. The bathroom has a whirlpool, shower, double sinks and toilet. A walk-in closet with iron, ironing board and trouser press is used to accommodate the wardrobe. A couch, table and chairs lure you to relax in the living area. A large glass door leads to the balcony with a table and deck chairs. Technically, the suites are equipped with a DVD player and mini stereo system.
Single cabins: these are available as indoor, outdoor and balcony cabins, each with a single bed. A bathroom with shower and toilet is of course standard.
Eating and drinking: club dining or freedom dining?
A culinary high level is the icing on the cake of every cruise and so P&O Cruises offers a high-class cuisine on the cruise ships, which is characterized by freshness, the use of the best ingredients and an appealing presentation. On the menus there are English-inspired, but above all international dishes. The majority of the restaurants can be visited without additional payment. The meals there are paid for with full board. These restaurants include at the main restaurants, the 24-hour buffet restaurants, the pizzerias, grill restaurants, barbecues and poolside snacks. Room service in the cabins and suites and afternoon tea with sandwiches and baked goods are also included.
At P&O Cruises, guests can choose between "Club Dining" and "Freedom Dining" at the main restaurants. In club dining, passengers opt for a dinner with set meal times and set seats (two sessions, at 18.30 and 20.30.). A 5-course menu is served in a stylish atmosphere, and six courses are served at the gala evening. There are also five courses at Freedom Dining and six courses at the gala evening, served at the table in a stylish atmosphere. The difference: the guests are very flexible with their time and can dine whenever they want between 18 and 21.30. Freedom Dining is available on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana and Ventura.
In addition, there are various “select dining” restaurants aboard the ships, where guests can feast at a particularly high level for an extra fee.
The Epicurean with masterpieces of British cuisine can be found on the Azura, Britannia and Ventura. Casual international cuisine is available for a fee for selected dishes at The Beach House, which is represented on the Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana and Ventura. There is also the Sindhu on the Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, Britannia and Ventura with Asian-British crossover cuisine. The Azura, Britannia and Ventura have Afternoon Tea @ The Epicurean on board. The Ocean Grill on the Arcadia, The Glass House on the Aurora, the Café Jardin on the Oceana and the Ramblas on the Ventura are also worth mentioning.
Sport, spa & wellness: from golf simulator to facelifting
Sport, games, wellness - if you want to do something good for your body on vacation, you are in the right place on a cruise ship from P&O Cruises. Fitness studios invite you to exercise on board. They can be visited and used by all passengers without additional payment. The latest equipment is always available, including bike trainers, treadmills, cross trainers, steppers, rowing machines, weights and Trixter XDream bikes. Trained fitness trainers explain the devices and provide instructions about the exercises. They also offer various fitness courses.
If you want to combine sport and fun, you can use the pools - there are several of different sizes and for different needs. There are shallow pools for cooling off, pools for children, whirlpools and pools for water sports, swimming and diving on board. Each ship also has a sports field. There are golf practice courses and there is even a golf simulator on the Aurora. The sports offer ranges from tennis, soccer and cricket to shuffleboard and throwing rings.
If you want to take it easy, you can focus on spa & wellness instead of sport. The luxurious spas on the cruise ships from P&O Cruises offer treatment options for men and women, saunas, steam baths and beauty salons. The excellently trained spa therapists offer, for example, massages, peelings, acupuncture, facials, mud baths, hot stone massages or Balinese massages. Facelifting and teeth whitening are even possible on some ships.
Destinations and shore excursions: introductory tour or world tour?
Whether the sunny islands of the Caribbean, the fjords of the north, the traditional destinations in England or exotic landscapes in distant countries - those who set sail with P&O Cruises go on a journey of discovery. The offer ranges from introductory short cruises to 100-day cruises around the world. Perhaps you'd like to set sail from Southampton, the cruise line's headquarters? Short cruises on the route Southampton, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam are also available. Suitable for a traditional cruise line based in the south of England Southampton, of course, tours in Western Europe and around the British Isles. Have you always wanted to explore Liverpool, Dublin or other British destinations? Then you will surely find a suitable cruise at P&O Cruises. Popular destinations also include the Iberian Peninsula with dream destinations such as Lisbon or Seville, the Canary Islands with their eternal summer climate, the Norwegian Fjords with their spectacular scenery, Alaska for nature fans and of course the Caribbean with its dream beaches, the turquoise shimmering sea and the incomparable attitude of life. The six sleek ships of P&O Cruises also sail in the Mediterranean, which offers a unique combination of nature, history and culture. World tours are a specialty - once-in-a-lifetime experiences that remain unforgettable. If you want to experience the Opera House in Sydney, the skyline of Hong Kong, the wonderfully beautiful South Sea Islands, the spectacular Panama Canal and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on a single cruise, you only need to board P&O Cruises - these dreams will become reality.
P&O Cruises offers an attractive shore excursion program in most ports, organized by renowned local agencies. Important to know: the shore excursions take place exclusively in English. The range offers the right offer for every taste. Choose between informative city tours to various activities from an extensive range. Transfers, tickets, assistance from a travel guide and possibly refreshments are already included in the price. Everything is perfectly organized so you don't have to worry about a thing. If you want to be on the safe side, book the shore excursions online in the "Cruise Personaliser" before you start the cruise.
Entertainment and shows: lots of fun
The British are famous for their great shows and comedy with a special British-style humor - you can enjoy all of this on P&O Cruises ships. Numerous stages at the theater and in the clubs invite for evening entertainment. Whether comedy, cabaret, live music, concerts, films or dance performances - P&O Cruises ensures that nobody has to go to bed ahead of time. The program includes highlights from successful musicals, cover bands and popular stars from the show business. Blockbusters or popular evergreens flicker across the cinema screens.
But everyone who wants to try their luck is also thought of. In the casinos, lucky knights can challenge fate and try poker, blackjack, bingo or roulette. Newcomers have the opportunity to have the subtleties of gambling explained to them during classes. When the evening is over, the time for night clubs comes. DJs and live bands ensure that the right mood is created and the dance floors are always well filled.
Families and children on cruises: all inclusive
While the Arcadia is reserved for adults only, families with children are more than welcome on the Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana and Ventura (also from May 2020 on the Iona). The ships are specifically designed for parents and their children. In addition to areas for parents seeking peace, there are children's paradises, for example large play or pool facilities. Special activity programs have been developed for each age group. The best: All offers, such as participation in the children's and youth clubs, are included. If the children travel in the parents' cabin or suite, the child discount applies.
The magic word for active children is "The Reef" - an entertainment program in four age groups (splashers for children from two to four years, surfers for children from five to eight years, scubas for children from nine to twelve years and h20 for teenagers between 13 and 17 years). The so-called reef rangers ensure an exciting and age-appropriate program.
Parents and children like to do something together on vacation and yet: sometimes mom and dad also want to enjoy togetherness, for example during an extensive dinner. To make this possible, P&O Cruises has a children's dinner every day with a menu that will make the little ones' hearts beat faster. In addition to healthy salads, soups, fruits and vegetables, there are also delicacies such as sausages, fish fingers, pasta and pizza.
P&O Cruises also collects many plus points for families with shore excursions tailored to children. This offer takes special consideration of the needs and interests of the little ones - there are trips to water parks, dolphin and whale watching, adventure trips and city tours especially for families. The cabins on the family ships of P&O Cruises are also orioented towards parents with children. They offer additional folding beds or sofa beds and there is plenty of space to store luggage.
- The onboard languages offered vary depending on the cruise line. In addition to the German cruise lines AIDA, TUI Cruises and PHOENIX, cruise lines such as Costa and MSC also offer German-speaking contact persons and shore excursions. The onboard languages offered are usually specified in the travel advertisement. There is also the option of filtering according to a desired language.
- Do you travel alone? With the whole family? Do you prefer the big adventure in nature or do you want to be entertained as well? There is a suitable lid for every pot - and that's just the same with cruises: apart from a variety of routes, the various cruise lines also show their own individual orientations.
If you are traveling alone, a single cabin will be important to you. Only a few cruise lines offer pure single cabins, usually a single cabin surcharge is calculated for the double cabin used alone. You will find what you are looking for on Norwegian Cruse Line, the cruise line offers extra single cabins. You may also find offers without extra charge at Hapag Lloyd Cruises or at Royal Caribbean.
Whether baby, toddler or teen - on a journey with children different requirements apply than on a cruise alone or in pairs. So the little ones want to be active. If you are planning a family cruise, make sure that there is an entertainment program for children. For example, AIDA Cruises or Costa Cruises are very child-friendly. But also many other cruise lines have specialized on the smallest guests, worthwhile here is an individual consultation with kreuzfahrten.de.
And as far as entertainment and shore excursions are concerned, cruises are as varied as a journey can be. If you do not want 24-hour entertainment, you will surely choose a different ship than the one who expects a selection of great shows, possibly several a day. We are happy to help you in your search for the right ship!