P&O Cruises Ships by Size, Age and Class (2022)

P&O Cruises Iona

P&O Cruises has an active fleet of seven ships currently. They plan to launch a further ship in late 2022 ( Arvia ).

The fleet is primarily based in Southampton but during certain periods of the year they homeport in the Caribbean or perform World Cruises.

Introduction to P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is a British cruise line and part of the biggest cruise company – Carnival Corporation. They are based in Southampton and were originally a subsidiary of the shipping company, P&O.

In 1977 they split from the parent company, along with sister line P&O Cruises Australia to form P&O Cruises.

P&O Cruises is one of the oldest cruise lines in the world, dating back to 1837 – which is even before Cunard Line .

This guide will help you work out which P&O Cruises’ ship is which!

P&O Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

Which p&o ships are adults only.

Both  Arcadia  and  Aurora  are adult-only ships in the P&O Cruises fleet.

Which P&O Ship is the best?

This would depend on the type of cruise you wish to have and the region.  Britannia ,  Azura  and  Ventura  are very popular family ships. Whereas  Iona  caters for families too but specialises in Norwegian / Northern Europe cruises – which are usually for the more mature passenger.

What ships have P&O sold?

P&O Cruises have sold three ships in the last five years.  Adonia  was sold in 2018,  Oriana  was sold in 2019 and  Oceana  was sold in 2020.

Which is the biggest P&O Ship?

The biggest P&O Cruise ship to date is  Iona , she can carry over 5,200 passengers and is also the longest ship in the fleet at 344 metres.

Which is the smallest P&O Ship?

Currently,   Aurora  is the smallest ship in the P&O Cruises fleet at 270 metres long and carrying 1,950 passengers.

Are P&O Ferries the same as P&O Cruises?

No! They are totally different companies (only sharing the same name!) Back in 1977 P&O Cruises separated from its parent company P&O Shipping.

They are now two totally different entities, with Carnival Corporation owning P&O Cruises.

P&O Cruises Ships by Size (from largest to smallest)

What does ‘tonnage (grt)’ mean.

GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage) is a term used to calculate the volume inside a ship. It is a measure of cubic capacity and is calculated by the total volume from inside the hull and decks of the ship. 1 GRT = 100 cubic feet of space. In essence, the bigger the GRT – the more ‘space’ the ship has for passengers, cargo, etc.

How are ‘Passengers (Max)’ calculated?

You’ll see multiple numbers for passengers on ships – this is because many ships include extra beds in cabins (such as the sofa/couch can convert to a pull-out bed) – but the majority of cabins usually have 2 people in them. the ‘Max’ number is if every cabin used their additional pull-out bed, etc. This number is unlikely to be reached very frequently.

P&O Cruises Ships by Age (from newest to oldest)

Are all p&o cruises ships new builds.

Yes, although almost all P&O Cruises’ ships are sister ships ‘in class’ with other ships from other Carnival brands.

Examples of this are:

  • Britannia (Royal-class – like Royal Princess )
  • Ventura/Azura (Grand-class – like Diamond Princess )
  • Arcadia (Vista-class – like Queen Victoria )

P&O Cruises Ships by Class (from newest to oldest)

Final thoughts.

When it comes to picking one of the P&O Cruises’ fleet to cruise on – you have a wealth of choices between adult-only and family-friendly ships with some in-between too!

New to the fleet flagship, Iona has proved very popular with UK cruisers and when her sister, Arvia sets sail in late 2022 cruisers will have even more choice of cruises from Southampton on P&O Cruises .

Enjoyed this article? Check out our other guides on MSC Cruises , Royal Caribbean and Holland America Line .

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P&O Cruises

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P&O Cruises fleet

Pacific encounter, pacific adventure, pacific explorer, review of p&o cruises.

This is CruiseMapper's hub for both companies - P&O UK and P&O Australia. Both P and O cruise lines belong to the world's largest cruise shipping company. P&O cruise lines deals are mainly on voyages departing from Southampton UK and Sydney NSW Australia . Both P&O companies are subsidiaries/part of the Carnival Group of companies - all of which are fully owned by Carnival Corporation & PLC . P&O UK is under the management of Carnival UK. And there is a 3rd "PandO" company (not part of Carnival plc) - the UK-based P&O Ferries .

Company history and changes

P&O Cruises UK ( is a British-American passenger shipping company headquartered at Carnival House (Southampton, England) and operated/managed by Carnival UK. P&O was originally a constituent of “Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company” (1797-founded/1966-defunct) which was the world's oldest cruise line that operated the first-ever passenger ships.

P&O Cruises' sister company is P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Australia's current President is Marguerite Fitzgerald. while P&O UK's (as well as Carnival UK's) current President is Paul Ludlow.

P and O Cruises (UK-Australia) logo

In 2000, "P&O Cruises" was excluded from P&O Group, becoming the subsidiary "P&O Princess Cruises". In 2003, P&O Princess merged with Carnival, forming Carnival Corporation & plc.

P&O (UK and AU) holds as market share ~5% of the worldwide cruise industry. Both companies (P&O Australia and P&O UK) were created in 1977, re-branding P&O's passenger division. Arcadia was the fleet's first adults-only liner, followed by Adonia (now Azamara Pursuit ), Oriana and Aurora (April 2000).

P&O UK ships Arcadia and Aurora are currently marketed as adult-only.

In August 2017, Azura became the world's first cruise ship to perform gay weddings at sea. P&O UK's wedding package prices started from GBP 1200. For comparison, Cunard’s shipboard weddings cost starts at ~GBP 2570 ( RMS Queen Mary 2 ) and ~GBP 2120 ( Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth ). On MS Azura, gay wedding ceremonies are carried out by the ship’s Captain, while marriage licenses are issued by Bermuda's Government (as the vessel is registered in Hamilton Bermuda ).

In June 2018, P&O UK announced that Oriana leaves the fleet in August 2019. The liner (now named Piano Land ) was sold to the Chinese company Well Star Travel Cruise (brand of CTS-China Travel Services International). The Chinese company plans short cruises from Chinese homeports to ports in Japan and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia).

Since May 1, 2019, P&O Cruises UK's Daily Service Charge per person (GBP 7) is no longer required. Crew tipping remains not expected or required.

In June 2021, P&O UK launched a mobile app to optimize pre-boarding and maximize onboard efficiency. The new "My Holiday" app is free of charge but available only on the ship. It allows pre-booking and making reservations onboard (dining times, restaurants, shows) via mobile phones and tablets. The app is an addition to the My Holiday (Reception Desk) which provides 24-hour assistance, including booking and how to use the application.

In summer 2023, two P&O UK ships (Iona and Arvia) introduced in their retail shops three kids' toy brands (Barbie, Hot Wheels Cars, Keycraft's Pocket Money) in addition to the always available toys from brands like Lego, Jellycat, TY (stuffed animals).

In June 2011 was announced that P&O UK will expand the fleet with a new 141,000-ton unit built by Fincantieri. The new vessel ( MV Britannia ) entered service in 2015. In January 2014, with Britannia was introduced a new livery based on UK's Union Flag.

P&O Cruises ships livery

On September 6, 2016, P&O UK (via Carnival Corporation) signed an MoA with Meyer Werft ( Papenburg Shipyard ) for building a new (company's largest) 5200-passenger vessel. In late-October 2016, P&O announced that the new ship ( Iona ) will have some of the largest at sea outdoor areas, glass-domed top deck, glass-walled atrium (full height) and wider and longer (approx 2600 ft / 800 m) Promenade Deck allowing multiple alfresco dining/open-air venues.

Iona was delivered in October 2020 and inaugurated in August 2021. The sistership Arvia was postponed (due to the COVID crisis) and delivered in December 2022 and inaugurated in January 2023.

P&O Cruises Britannia cruise ship

The newest P&O UK vessel has max passenger capacity 6264, volume 187500 GT-tons, 18 decks, 2610 staterooms, 17 eateries (including 7 specialty restaurants/ Britannia has just 3), 12 bars/lounges, 13 entertainment venues, 4 swimming pools, 16 outdoor whirlpools. The top-deck Dome is an entertainment space, with a swimming pool, large jacuzzies, a retractable stage. This all-weather venue hosts daily entertainment and dining and nightly shows (aerial performances and light projections onto the covering glass roof).

P&O UK's newest ship is also LNG-powered (by liquefied natural gas). Two similar-design ships (180K tons) were also ordered for CCL-Carnival Cruise Line . On January 26, 2018, Carnival Corporation signed a shipbuilding contract with Meyer Werft for building a second (180,000 GT) liner for P&O, with the delivery scheduled for 2022. As of 2018, Carnival Corp’s fleet of newbuilds ( on order and under construction ) numbered 19 units, scheduled for deliveries in 2018-2022.

In January 2016, Carnival Corporation signed an MoA (memo of agreement) with Fincantieri to build 4 new units. Contracts were finalized in April 2016. Of these, 2 vessels were for Costa Asia (homeported in China), one for Princess and one for P&O Australia. With this shipbuilding order, the Corporation had a total of 17 new ships scheduled for deliveries between 2016 and 2020. The four vessels will be built at Fincantieri's shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, with scheduled deliveries in 2019-2020.

Three of the vessels are designed with gross tonnage 133,500 tons, LOA length is 323 m (1060 ft) and capacity 4000 passengers plus 1450 crew (2 are for Costa Asia, 1 for P&O AU). One ship with GT 143,700 tons and capacity 3560 passengers is for Princess. Both Costa ships are exclusively for the booming Chinese market. Each vessel is powered by two MAN diesel engines (model 14V48 / 60CR) plus three MAN diesel engines (medium-speed, model 8L48 / 60CR), providing total power output 62,400 kW. The engines are Tier-II compliant.

P&O Cruises Australia

P&O Cruises Australia Ltd is a British-American company with corporate headquarters at Carnival House (Southampton, England UK). P&O Australia is a sister company of P&O UK. Both are under Carnival UK's executive control. Currently, P&O Australia operates 3 boats deployed in the South Pacific Ocean on island-hopping itineraries - mainly roundtrips from homeports in Australia.

After numerous changes in the company’s organization, in 2000 P&O Group demerged all cruise shipping operations. Then, P&O Princess Cruises was created- a new company independent of P&O; consisting of AIDA Cruises , Princess Cruises , P&O Cruises Australia, P&O Cruises (UK), and later "Ocean Village" and A-Rosa Cruises (riverboats).

In 2003, Carnival Corporation merged with P&O Princess Cruises thus forming Carnival Corporation & plc- the largest cruise company in the world, with eleven cruise lines portfolio, including P&O AU. Official website

Princess' oldest ship - Regal Princess, was transferred to P&O Australia in October 2007, and after a month of drydock refurbishment entered service as Pacific Dawn.

Carnival Corporation informed about the closure of Ocean Village (UK-based travel brand) on October 30, 2008. Both Ocean Village ships were transferred to P&O Australia - Ocean Village 2 (as Pacific Jewel, in December 2009) and Ocean Village 1 (as Pacific Pearl, in December 2010).

P&O ships sail on 270+ itineraries each year (with 120+ of them departing from Southampton), and visiting 90+ countries on 6 continents.

Pacific Pearl was renamed MV Columbus and in 2017 started operations for CMV . Pacific Pearl left the fleet in April 2017, after completing 294 voyages for P&O and carrying 1+ million passengers over 5 years. In November 2019, for Pacific Aria (now Celestyal Journey) and Pacific Dawn (now Ambience) were signed presale agreements with CMV and both ships were planned to start operations for the UK-based company in 2021 as "CMV Amy Johnson" (Pacific Dawn) and "CMV Ida Pfeiffer" (Pacific Aria). In September-October 2020, following CMV's bankruptcy , both vessels were acquired by new shipowners.

P&O Cruises Australia ships

On November 25, 2015: P&O AU's entire fleet (all 5 liners) gathered in Sydney Harbour to celebrate the arrival of the fleetmates Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden.

In June 2018, P&O Australia launched with  Pacific Explorer "The Big Laugh" onboard show program - advertised as "the biggest comedy festival at sea". The program included all 14 stand-up comedy celebrities performing a total of 36 shipboard live shows (combined over 33 hours live performances). The program started with the 4-day roundtrip Sydney cruise to Moreton Island (departure June 20).

Among the guest comedians were Jimeoin (Irish), Matthew Matt Okine (AU), David Gerard Callan (Australian), Scared Weird Little Guys (Australian comedy music duo - John Fleming and Rusty Berther), David William "Hughesy" Hughes (AU), Harley Breen (AU), Claire Hooper (AU). "The Big Laugh" program comprised of all 72 comedy- themed cruises in 2018-2019. The famous Australian comedians performed during 2-, 3- and 4-night itineraries ("SeaBreaks") leaving roundtrip out of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Auckland NZ.

In 2019, P&O AU scheduled the ever largest "comedy cruise" program in the company's history - 38 itineraries (January through October). On March 7, 2018, was announced that Pacific Eden is sold to the UK-based company CMV , joining CMV's fleet in April 2019.

Since 2007, P&O Australia ships' onboard retail shops are managed by Harding (UK-based travel and cruise retail group). In 2020, Harding was acquired by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP (1983-founded, NYC-based investment management firm with USD 34+ billion in managed assets). Harding has hubs in Bristol (England) , Miami (Florida USA)  and Sydney (NSW Australia) .

New beverage packages

In May 2023, P&O UK introduced four new drink packages available fleetwide but only on longer voyages, with durations of at least 5 nights (or longer).

The beverage packages are at a fixed price per person and per day. The package's pricing is lower if purchased online and before the voyage.

  • "The Refresh Drinks" package is priced GBP 9.85 (prior to the voyage) and GBP 10.95 (if purchased onboard).  The Refresh package Includes soft drinks (lemonade, Pepsi, juices).
  • "The Alcohol-free Drinks" package is priced GBP 22.45 (before) and GBP 24.95 (onboard) and includes all The Refresh package's beverages plus Costa Coffee and sodas.
  • "The Classic Drinks" package is priced GBP 40.45 (before) and GBP 44.95 (onboard) and includes all beverages from The Refresh and The Alcohol-free packages plus alcoholic beverages (spirits, wines, cocktails).
  • "The Deluxe Drinks" package is priced GBP 49.45 (before) and GBP 54.95 (onboard) and includes all other packages' beverages plus specialty cocktails, premium spirits and wines. Additionally, passengers who buy The Deluxe Drinks package also receive 20% off on all drinks excluded from this package.

The above-listed new packages are for P&O UK ships only and introduced/first offered on the liners Iona and Ventura (starting May 20, 2023) and available fleetwide since July 2023.

P&O Cruise Personaliser

PandO Cruise Personaliser is an online service that allows passengers to update their before-sailing information and see in a concise form all their booking details. P&O Personaliser is NOT mandatory to complete but may be of great help in cases of emergency for the company to contact family members, relatives, friends.

To log in, you'll need to input your first and surname, and cruise reference number. It is received as part of your reservation confirmation (up to 120 days prior to departure, not available for 18-yo) or upon booking (up to 1 year). The same number serves all people included in the booking. On the Web page, there's information about cruise itinerary, stateroom (category and number), boarding times, contact info (including emergency contacts), passport data, medical and dietary requirements (if requested).

PO Cruise Insurance is optional. If purchased, the Insurance policy type is also shown (Standard or higher), package deal type, all kinds of pre-made reservations (shore excursions, Air, Spa), credit card number, luggage tags, etc.

  • Dining /medical requests can't be entered online - they must be specified in the manual form.
  • The accessible information about changes and updates pertains ONLY to a phone number, address, passport, emergency contacts.
  • You can't book a cruise through P&O Cruise Personaliser - booking requires full payment and immigration details.
  • Through the Personaliser you can make online reservations (shore excursions, tours, Spa, hairdresser, specialty restaurants), to update special requests and onboard preferences, or to add some additional services (babysitting, amenities, etc).
  • Itinerary changes are also listed in the Cruise Personaliser form, along with other important updates.
  • Immediately call P&O if you have forgotten or lost your booking number. Call between 7 am – 8 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time - Monday to Friday) and Saturday (8 am - 5 pm) - phone number 1300-159-454.

PO Cruise Personaliser is accessed by both travel agents and passengers. With personal bookings (through a travel agent or P&O Reservations Centre) passengers receive reference numbers (after confirmation). On a particular booking, each passenger can access the Personaliser using the booking reference number and first name-surname. If you're not the booking person, contact the one who did it for obtaining booking reference. After log-in, note that all passengers' names in the booking party are displayed under the same reference number.

IMPORTANT - Each of the same-booking passengers is able to access the info about you and the other, i.e. you can update and provide information of all other passengers in your booking, and they can change your information. If you wish so, you could provide P&O with other passengers' personal information. Another case is when they are minors (younger than 18 years old). Then you must be a parent or legal guardian.

After providing P&O cruise company with the personal data needed on the Personaliser (and also with additional info if asked for more details), this database is used for updating pre-cruise information.

Certain information is sometimes required under maritime-customs-immigration-security laws. Personaliser info may be disclosed to P&O Cruises service providers (ticketing companies, travel, and port agents, authorities, emergency response providers, immigration, airlines, customs, shore tour operators, related entities) for Carnival Corporation's business purposes. Certain information is collected because of customs or immigration laws requirements. If you refuse to provide the information requested in the Personaliser, they may not be able to process the booking or provide certain services during the voyage.

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, P&O's entire fleet (all UK- and AU-based liners) is with an expanded cancellation policy. All bookings on pre-scheduled itineraries (departures in the period March 14 through August 31, 2020) were given the option to cancel up to 48 hours (prior departure) without penalties.

All affected bookings received a 125% refund in FCC (future cruise credit) transferred to a booking made before December 31, 2021, or 100% monetary refund. With the FCCs customers can also pay for cabin upgrades or book a second stateroom (on existing bookings). FCCs can be also gifted or transferred (options offered through December 31, 2021).

P&O UK canceled all voyages departing between March 14, 2020, and June 2021.

  • P&O UK planned to resume operations in early-February 2021 (Caribbean fly-cruises from Barbados and St Lucia) and in mid-March 2021 (roundtrips out of Southampton).
  • P&O UK's World Cruises 2021 (ships Arcadia and Aurora) were both canceled.

Next are listed P&O UK's ships and their first departure dates in 2021-2022 - AZURA (Dec 10, 2021), BRITANNIA (June 27, 2021/UK Coastal), AURORA (April 13, 2022/Mediterranean from Southampton), ARCADIA (March 27, 2022/Canaries from Southampton), IONA (Aug 7, 2021/ Maiden Voyage /UK Coastal), VENTURA (Oct 3, 2021/Canaries from Southampton).

P&O Australia canceled all departures between March 14, 2020, and May 31, 2022. P&O Australia resumed operations in 2022 with the ships Pacific EXPLORER (May 31/from Sydney), Pacific ENCOUNTER (Aug 27/from Brisbane), Pacific ADVENTURE (October 22/from Sydney).

Citing the Coronavirus crisis' impact, in early-July 2020, P&O UK sold the ship Oceana . A total of 190 scheduled itineraries (departures from homeports Southampton UK and Dubai UAE) were canceled.

Itinerary of P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises ships sail on mostly round-trip itineraries leaving from UK (Southampton, April through October), Caribbean (from Barbados, during winter) and from Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane - year-round departures). While most PandO UK ships remain in Europe year-round, the line's largest vessels also sail in the Caribbean (out of Barbados) and offer longer world cruise itineraries.

Citing the COVID crisis' impact on the passenger shipping industry, in early-July 2020, P&O UK sold the cruise ship Oceana . A total of 190 scheduled itineraries (departures from homeports Southampton UK and  Dubai UAE ) were canceled.

P&O UK'ss 2025-2026 itinerary program (opened for booking on October 18, 2023) features 12 new for the company ports (including Los Angeles CA USA, Melbourne Victoria AU, Port Chalmers/Dunedin NZ, Benoa Bali Indonesia, Bodo Norway, Tangier Morocco). MS Britannia has scheduled two new Caribbean fly-cruise itineraries visiting Jamaica, Dominicana, Grand Turk). In January 2026, MS Aurora starts a 75-night Grand Voyage while MS Arcadia starts a 100-night World Circumnavigation Cruise (28 ports/destinations). Traditionally for P&O, both World  Voyages are roundtrips from Southampton.

(UK & AU) PO cruise itinerary changes

PO AU's vessels are all UK- flagged . However, all ships are registered in Bermuda ( Hamilton ) to allow shipboard weddings (at sea). These ceremonies are conducted by the Captains and are pretty popular.

Our P&O cruise schedules include the ships of both brands (Australia and UK).

In October 2022, P&O UK announced new "Scandinavia and Baltic Sea" itineraries debuting in 2024 summer, all of which are roundtrips from Southampton.

  • (Arcadia) 16-night from GBP 1700 pp (June 25)
  • (Aurora) 16-night from GBP 1350 pp (May 18) and 16-night from GBP 1450 pp (August 26)
  • (Britannia) 14-night from GBP 1150 pp (May 10), plus 2x 14-night from GBP 1300 pp (August 30, September 20)

Arcadia also offers a 16-night "Iceland and Norway" voyage from GBP 1650 pp (July 30), while Britannia offers a 14-night "British Isles" from GBP 1300 pp (June 7) and a 14-night "Canary Islands" from GBP 1250 pp (July 5).  The new Baltic sailings feature overnight port stays in Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), and Stockholm (Sweden).

P&O Cruises related cruise news

P&O Cruises UK's Christmas charter flight (ship Arvia) diverts to Bermuda due to turbulence

P&O Cruises UK's Christmas charter flight (ship Arvia) diverts to Bermuda due to turbulence

A P&O Cruises charter flight, transporting passengers from Barbados to Manchester, was compelled to divert to Bermuda on Christmas Eve due to...

P&O UK enhances Arvia ship cruises with additional regional flights and agent support

P&O UK enhances Arvia ship cruises with additional regional flights and agent support

P&O Cruises UK has expanded its travel options for passengers booking voyages aboard MS Arvia ship, introducing additional departures from...

P&O Australia's ship Pacific Adventure denied entry to New Zealand due to dirty hull

P&O Australia's ship Pacific Adventure denied entry to New Zealand due to dirty hull

Passengers on the Pacific Adventure's current voyage faced challenges as the ship failed to meet New Zealand's stringent biohazard entry requirements...

Carnival UK reverses decision on officer contracts following negotiations with Nautilus

Carnival UK reverses decision on officer contracts following negotiations with Nautilus

Carnival UK (subsidiary of Carnival Corporation) has opted to reverse its initial decision to terminate and rehire 900 British officers from P&O...

Carnival's companies P&O UK and Cunard to 'fire and rehire' 900+ British staff

Carnival's companies P&O UK and Cunard to 'fire and rehire' 900+ British staff

The UK's maritime union expresses concern over Carnival Corporation's potential "fire and rehire" strategy affecting 900+ cruise ship crewmembers...

Fire breaks out in P&O Cruises Iona ship's Atrium

Fire breaks out in P&O Cruises Iona ship's Atrium

Passengers were evacuated from the P&O Cruises UK ship Iona following an incident where the battery of a mobility scooter exploded and caught...

P&O UK's cruise ship Iona joins the search after North Sea crash

P&O UK's cruise ship Iona joins the search after North Sea crash

In response to a maritime incident in the North Sea, involving a collision between the British-flagged vessel Verity and the cargo ship Polesie...

Bumper cruise season in Australia kicks off with Celebrity Solstice

Bumper cruise season in Australia kicks off with Celebrity Solstice

Australia's busy cruise season officially commenced on October 19 with the arrival of the first overseas ship in Sydney Harbour NSW. The 2800...

P&O UK's winter 2025-2026 cruise collection includes 12 new ports

P&O UK's winter 2025-2026 cruise collection includes 12 new ports

P&O Cruises UK is enhancing its offerings for the autumn half-term in 2025 with the aim of attracting more families to its cruise ships. The...

24yo Australian solo rower rescued by P&O's cruise ship Pacific Explorer

24yo Australian solo rower rescued by P&O's cruise ship Pacific Explorer

Australian solo rower Tom Robinson was succesfully rescueed on Friday, October 6th, by the P&O Australia's ship Pacific Explorer. The vessel was...

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What you need to know about P&O Cruises

Author: Susan Johnson

Published on: 29 April 2022

Updated on: 01 June 2022

P&O Cruises are the perfect way to escape your chaotic routine and enter a world where all your needs are cared for. This is what you need to know about the line.

P&O Cruises is the favourite cruise line of many British cruisers. And it is pretty easy to see why so many continue to choose P&O.

Through its impressive range of small to mid-size fleet, P&O offers something for everyone onboard.

The line serves up exceptional service, attention to detail and delicious cuisine at affordable prices.

In this guide, we cover everything you should know about this prestigious cruise line – from its history to a comprehensive array of destinations.

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P&O Cruises had humble beginnings as a shipping company named Peninsular Steam Navigation Company sailing between England and the Iberian Peninsula in 1837. In its early years, it was the first line to transport tea leaves from China to Britain. And it was 22 years after the formation of P&O Cruises the brand began offering passenger services – again the first of their kind.

Times may have moved on but P&O Cruises still continue to offer unbeatable experiences and services to their customers. After all, there is a reason why it boasts an unparalleled number of returning passengers.

- READ MORE: P&O Cruises summer 2024 itineraries from Ibiza to the Arctic -

Meet the P&O Cruises fleet

Currently, the P&O Cruises fleet includes six ships (soon to be seven): Arvia , Iona , Britannia , Azura , Ventura , Arcadia and Aurora .

Each ship offers unique features and something different for every type of traveller. The fleet can be distinguished into two categories—adults-only and family-friendly.

Find your ideal cruise

Search cruises with P&O Cruises

Adults-Only Cruise Ships

This 2,094-passenger ship is the perfect blend of classic and modern. It joined the P&O Cruises fleet in 2005 and sails to Canada , the Caribbean , and Europe. You will find everything you need onboard Arcadia, from bodily relaxations to theatre, art, and film. Rest assured, you will have a quiet and reflective voyage.

- READ MORE: From Iona to Britannia, which P&O cruise ship is best for you? -

Aurora joined the fleet in 2000. A 1,874-passenger ship, it sails to the Caribbean, Canada, Europe and South America .

Aurora displays a wide array of facilities and activities, mouth-watering cuisine, exquisite entertainment, a multi-deck waterfall and a stunning promenade deck. The atmosphere is both fun and welcoming so you can make the most of your time at sea onboard this luxurious ship.

Family-friendly cruise ships

Arvia joined the fleet in December 2022 with the aim to help passengers see the world in widescreen – offering more freedom, choices, sunnier vibes and breath-taking views. She will have a lot of features similar to her sister ship Iona, plus some special additional surprises of her own.

This 3,100-passenger offers fun for the entire family. Holding an enormous variety of spa treatments, haute cuisine restaurants, age-specific entertainment, and sports facilities, Azura is perfect for a more relaxed voyage.

An epitome of style and glamour, Britannia joined the P&O Cruises fleet in 2015 and sails to the Caribbean and Europe. The ship takes inspiration from the past but was designed for the future. Hence, she appeals to both beginners as well as sea veterans.

- READ MORE: Iona sails maiden season to Norway - what's onboard? -

If you are looking for the ultimate cruise experience, Iona is your girl. Having joined the P&O Cruises fleet in 2020, she features the best onboard dining experiences, venues, and amenities.

Sailing to Europe and the Caribbean, the much-loved Ventura is famous for her variety. Whether you are looking for some relaxing time at the deck theatre, a foodie excited to feast at 12 different dining spots, or a parent looking to offer the best adventure for your kids, you will definitely find something on board with Ventura.

P&O Cruises destinations

P&O Cruises’ fleet sails to all four corners of the world. The line offers an extensive array of options both close to home and further afield. Onboard a P&O Caribbean cruise, you will get to sail to Antigua , Aruba, Barbados , Bermuda and Grenada . Take a P&O Norwegian fjords cruise, and you will get to witness the dramatic scenery of Alesund , Flam , Geiranger and Trondheim .

- READ MORE: P&O Cruises delivers brand new ship Arvia - what's onboard?

- READ MORE: P&O Cruises from Southampton

P&O Cruises dress code

Evening dress codes form an integral part of your overall cruising experience. P&O Cruises permits casual wear throughout the day. You can sport your typical holiday wardrobes, such as T-shirts, shorts, sundresses and more. Guests are asked to wear shoes away from the pool, in the lounges, inside bars, restaurants and at reception.

P&O Cruises asks guests to pack light layers as it gets chilly on deck and breezy in the evening. It also recommends flat shoes to be worn on the decks.

P&O Cruises has two evening dress codes for the evening hours (after 6pm) – Evening Casual and Black Tie. Black Tie nights give you the opportunity to dress up in glamorous evening wear. Think cocktail dresses, ball gowns, tuxedos, dinner jackets, dark business suits and ties. On the other hand, Evening Casual nights let you dress as you would for dinner in a nice restaurant. Dark denim or trousers paired with a nice shirt or skirts with blouses and dresses would make an ideal option.

The only exception to these two evening dress codes are the theme nights on P&O Cruises. This is when you get into some serious fun for themes such as 70s disco, 80s pop, colourful tropical, or splendid black and white nights.

Can you opt-out of tipping on P&O Cruises?

Since May 2019, P&O Cruises are no longer billing guests for mandatory gratuities. So, you can relax knowing that good services are all part of your P&O Cruises holiday. The services included in their cruise price cover:

  • Accommodation
  • Pools & Relaxation
  • Sports Deck
  • Dance Classes
  • Shuttle Buses in Port
  • Children’s Club
  • Flights & Transfers

- READ MORE: Singer Lance Ellington discusses performing with P&O Cruises -

At an additional cost, you can purchase:

  • Dining at speciality restaurants
  • Room service
  • Onboard shopping
  • Photography
  • The cookery club on Britannia

Cruise guides - P&O Cruises

A photo of the P&O Cruises operator

American Cruise Lines to sail out of Washington DC

Susan calman boosts riviera’s douro bookings by 54 per cent, new survey finds more customers are opting for ex-uk departures in 2024, carnival cruise line shares details about celebration key, holland america line announces 2025-26 australia and new zealand cruises, liverpool to host naming ceremony for cunard's new ship queen anne, cunard offers 10 per cent off selected 2024 voyages, azamara onward makes maiden call to easter island, lionel messi names icon of the seas, viking opens bookings for 2026 ocean cruises early.

PTFNC - Funchal, Madeira, Portugal - Photo credit Alex Tudor.jpg Photo

Canary Islands

  • 7 nights, departs on the 04 Jan 2025
  • P&O Cruises, Azura
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Funchal, Madeira, Santa Cruz de La Palma, + 3 more
  • 7 nights, departs on the 27 Feb 2026
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Funchal, Madeira, + 3 more
  • 14 nights, departs on the 25 Oct 2024
  • P&O Cruises, Arvia
  • Southampton, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Sint Maarten, + 3 more
  • 14 nights, departs on the 01 Nov 2024
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Funchal, Madeira, + 8 more
  • 65 nights, departs on the 06 Jan 2025
  • P&O Cruises, Aurora
  • Southampton, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Saint John's, + 26 more

p&o cruise ships list

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We are thrilled to announce that the next stage of our fleet transformation is now complete. Pacific Adventure® and Pacific Encounter® are now taking Australians on amazing cruise holidays. Both ships have joined Pacific Explorer® and across the fleet you will enjoy many of P&O’s signature features along with some new star attractions we know you will love.

On a P&O cruise you’ll soon discover delicious food, fun activities, a wide choice of entertainment, perfect chill zones, and amazing destinations! The choice is all yours – you can do it all, or you can do nothing at all.

Welcome to cruising Australian style!

NEW - Pacific Encounter

We are excited to welcome Pacific Encounter, cruising from Brisbane.

NEW - Pacific Adventure

Pacific Adventure – now cruising from Sydney

Pacific Explorer

Pick a ship, any ship.

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P&O Cruises ships by age and size

P&O Cruises currently has 7 cruise ships in its fleet. This post includes a list of P&O Cruises ships by age and size. This is a handy guide to help you decide which P&O ship is best for you.

List of P&O Cruises ships by age

The table below lists all P&O Cruises ships by age from oldest to youngest. It’s also useful to note when these ships were last refurbished.

Which is the newest P&O Cruises ship?

Arvia is the newest P&O Cruises ship and entered service in December 2022. Arvia offers itineraries in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Read my review of P&O Arvia .

newest P&O Cruises ship Arvia

Which is the oldest P&O Cruises ship?

MV Aurora is the oldest cruise ship in the P&O fleet and was last refurbished in April 2019. It is one of two adult-only cruise ships owned by P&O Cruises.

List of P&O Cruises ships by size

The smallest ship in the P&O Cruises fleet is Aurora. Azura and Ventura are very similar in size and have the same passenger capacity. In comparison, the newest ship in the fleet, Iona, is the largest with a passenger capacity more than twice the size of Arcadia’s.

Which is the largest P&O Cruises ship?

Arvia is the largest P&O Cruises ship. The ship has 19 decks and can accommodate 5,206 passengers. It is the second British cruise ship to be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) making it one of the greenest ships in the P&O fleet. Arvia is an Excel class ship and has a variety of new features such as the first rum distillery at sea and new conservatory mini-suites .

Which P&O Cruises ship is the best?

This is very subjective, depending on what you enjoy. If you don’t want to cruise on a large ship, I would recommend booking on Arcadia, Azura or Ventura but be aware that these are the oldest in the fleet. One benefit of these ships is that the public areas and balconies are likely to be bigger than the newer ships.

If you prefer cruising exclusively with adults, Arcadia is the ship for you because the rest of the fleet is family-friendly.

Britannia is a Royal-class ship and sister to Royal and Regal Princess and remains the flagship. To learn more about Britannia, you should take a look at this Ultimate Guide to Britannia .

P&O Cruises ships by age Arvia is the newest

The newest ships, Arvia and Iona, are much larger, with a lot of venues and restaurants to choose from. You can take a look at how Iona and Arvia compare to see which you should book.

All of the P&O Cruises ships by age and size including when each was last refurbished to help you choose the right one for your next cruise.

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p&o cruise ships list

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If you know the name of a passenger, but NOT the ship they travelled on, you can search passenger lists online to find the right ship. Our research guide will help you further.

Our ships fact sheets are full of useful information and cover nearly 2,500 ships over 100 tons (grt).

Many shipping companies used the same ship names more than once! So we've included the date that each ship entered service in brackets.

If you can't find the ship you are looking for, it may not be a P&O ship. Use our archive links  to help you find other useful resources.

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Cruising For All

P&O Cruise Ships By Age, And Size, Newest To Oldest 2023

If you’re a planning a cruise with P&O Cruise Line you might be wondering which cruise ship to book for your next cruise? Thus we have researched P&O Cruise Ships By Age and Size, Newest To Oldest and also included a few interesting facts for P&O fans. Some because we are geeks and love a bit of history.

Notably it’s also great to know not only the P&O Cruise Ships by age to help you decided if you want to stay on a newer P&O Ship, or indeed older. We have also included passengers numbers and P&O ship renovation dates. Because some ships may be older, however this doesn’t mean they haven’t been upgraded recently, thus will have a small ship feel with all the latest innovations.

Also check out the biggest cruise ships in the world.

P&O Ships Newest To Oldest

What You Will Find On This Page

How Many Cruise Ships Do P&O Have?

P&O have 7 cruise ships in service the newest being Arvia who launched in 2022. P&O are a brand who celebrate all things British and as such have a huge British audience and following of cruisers who will only ever cruise with P&O. This also shows in the choice of godparent for each ship.

P&O Iona the newest ship in 2021

P&O Cruise Ships By Age, Newest To Oldest

The P&O fleet is quite a young and small fleet compared to a lot of other cruise lines. However this also means there is continuous investment.

  • Arvia, 2022, 5200 guests
  • Iona, 2021, 5200 guests
  • Britannia , 2015 , 3647 guests
  • Azura, 2009, 3100 guests
  • Ventura, 2007, 3078 guests
  • Arcadia, 2004, 2094 guests
  • Aurora , 2000, 1874 passengers

Which ships have been renovated

P&O Cruise Ships By Age, Passenger And Crew Numbers And Size 2023

Which p&o ships are adult only.

Although cruising is pretty quiet on the child front out of term time, some people want an absolute guarantee their cruise is going to be child free. The following ships are the child free ships in the P&O fleet.

Which Is The Biggest P&O Ship?

Iona and Arvia are the biggest and newest ships of the P&O fleet. Offering innovative features such as the SkyDome, three-tier glass Grand Atrium or the brand-new Conservatory Mini-suite cabins, and a full cinema. Iona and Arvia holds 5200 guests, has 1800 crew, is 344m long, has 15 guest decks and weighs 184,700 tons.

Which Is The Smallest P&O Ships?

The smallest P&O ship in the fleet is Aurora, this child free ship which was renovated in 2019 is a more intimate ship holding only 1874 passengers, has 860 crew, weighs 76,152 tons and a length of 270.0m. This is tiny in comparison to her newest sister Arvia who is over double the weight at 184,700 tons.

Studio Ocean Studios cinema on Iona.jpg.image.1480.1110.high

Which P&O Ships Have Had A Refit?

As you can see P&O Cruise Line have invested a lot to keep their ships up to date and modern, hence why P&O have a loyal following. They know the standard and quality they expect from their cruise and when the last ship to be renovated was 2017 its pretty reassuring.

  • Britannia, refurbished 2019
  • Azura, refurbished 2020
  • Ventura, refurbished 2018
  • Arcadia, refurbished 2017
  • Aurora, refurbished 2019

P&O Ships renovation Dates

Have P&O Sold Any Cruise Ships?

Yes, P&O sold Oceania in 2020, Oceana was built in 2000 and holds 2016 passengers onboard. P&O’s oldest ship was sold to the Greek ferry operator Seajets and renamed The Queen of the Oceans.

Who Are The Godmothers For Each P&O Ship

The christening of a cruise ship is a big deal, it’s considered to be good luck to both the ship and her crew to break a bottle of champagne over the bow of a new vessel before taking her maiden voyage. Clearly it’s also a great pr exercise, but also a part of maritime history for ships to have a sponsor (Godmother).

Traditionally The Navy used a silver goblet filled with wine, however as this became more expensive, the goblet was swapped for a bottle of wine, which later became replaced with champagne as we know it today.

  • Iona, Dame Irene Hays
  • Britannia, Her Majesty The Queen
  • Azura, Dame Darcey Bussell 
  • Ventura, Dame Helen Mirren
  • Arcadia, Dame Kelly Holmes
  • Aurora, HRH The Princess Royal

We hope those facts have been of use, or at very least interesting and if you did enjoy it check out our Princess ships by age post.

More P&O Posts

  • P&O Britannia Photo Tour
  • P&O Iona Photo Tour
  • P&O Drinks Packages
  • Drinks Prices And Menus

P&O Ships by age and passenger numbers

Sarah also writes for Mini Travellers Family Travel Blog and Extraordinary Chaos Craft and Lifestyle Blog. Both are award-winning blogs with a travel and family focus. She is married and has two boys, aged 18 and 22, who all love cruising as a family. Nothing is better than waking up every day in a new port with new and exciting things to explore. She aims to share how cruising as a family with young adults is the perfect choice for family travel. Her boys are sporty and love the activities, sports and dining options cruising offers. Sarah has worked with brands such as Walt Disney World, Mark Warner, Ikos Resort, Center Parcs, Laura Ashley, Belling and Next.

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2 thoughts on “P&O Cruise Ships By Age, And Size, Newest To Oldest 2023”

You have not mentioned Ariana what happened to her.Who was she sold to? She was a beautiful ship My daughter and I had a lovely cruise on her to Spain and Ireland in 2010.

Ah thanks for pointing out

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