P&O Cruises has unveiled plans to build a mega cruise ship that will rival the likes of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, and Norwegian Epic
The as-yet unnamed vessel will carry 3,611 passengers and 1,350 crew, and has been budgeted at £489 million, making it the most expensive and largest ship specifically created for the UK market. Features include 1,812 cabins, 17 decks, 12 restaurants, three pools, a cinema, gym and theatre. It is set to sail in March 2015.
P&O Cruises managing director Carol Marlow said: “This next-generation ship will deliver the ultimate P&O Cruises experience, with ‘sophisticated wows’ and new features to attract thousands of newcomers to our brand.”
However the 141,000-tonne liner will still be dwarfed by the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas at 225,282 tonnes. Royal Caribbean was voted “World’s Leading Cruise Line 2010” by World Travel Awards.
P&O Cruises promises the ship will “offer a stylish and innovative new design and an unprecedented number of passenger facilities.”
Micky Arison, chairman and chief executive of P&O’s parent company Carnival Corporation, said: “P&O Cruises is Britain’s number one cruise operator, and is synonymous with high-quality holidays that celebrate its rich British heritage.”
The new liner will be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, which is the company behind Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth as well as Silversea, Holland America and Oceania.
Cruise is defying the global downturn as leading companies continue to roll out new vessels.
This summer sees the launch of Sebourn Quest for The Yachts of Seabourn, which was voted “World’s Leading Luxury Cruise Line 2010” at World Travel Awards for the second year running.
Viking River Cruises, voted “Europe’s Leading River Cruise Company 2010” by World Travel Awards, will see Viking Prestige take to the water.
And Costa Cruises will launch its 3,000-berth Costa Favolosa while Celebrity Cruises is putting the 2,884-berth Celebrity Silhouette to service.
Next year sees Disney, MSC, Carnival, Costa and Celebrity Cruises all launching new ships.