So in 2020 P&O will get a very big new ship.
The new ship will be 180,000 gross tonnes which currently* makes it the 2nd biggest ship ‘class’ in the world, with only RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class being bigger.
However the new ship will carry up to 6,600 passengers – more passengers than RCI’s ‘Oasis’, yet will be 20% smaller.
The ship will of course have original livery and décor, but the design is likely to be similar to ships that AIDA, Costa and Carnival will also be getting. She will not really be specifically designed for the British market, irrespective of what the marketing will say. (Although she will have some P&O tweaks I guess, like a smaller Casino.)
I assume some of the world’s ports will not be able to accommodate such a big ship, which will limit the possible itineraries. Tendering is likely to be virtually impossible.
The question is “Have Carnival gone too far”?
Do P&O regulars really want such a big ship carrying a world record number of passengers? Is this the direction P&O should go? Is P&O becoming just another crowded mass market line? Or maybe Carnival have got it right as they are increasingly appealing to a new breed of P&O clientele?
*(Genting have a 200,000 gt ship due in 2019. I believe she will have a lower-berth capacity of 5,000, so less then the new P&O vessel)