Posts Tagged ‘P&O’

P&O Cruises Summer 2019 Cruise Program

September 5, 2017

(P&O’s Britannia)

P&O Cruises has launched its summer 2019 cruise program: “with increased emphasis on appeal to newcomers and past guests alike,” according to the cruise line.

Around 180 itineraries are on offer, with key features being:

·  Weekly 7-night Norway Fjords: Britannia, Ventura & Azura, April-Sept.
·  Fortnightly 14-night West-Med: Britannia, Ventura & Azura, May-Oct.
·  Past guest oriented immersive: Arcadia & Aurora
·  Discovery-led itineraries & scenic cruising on Oriana
·  A Malta Mediterranean fly-cruise program on Oceana.

Theme cruises include Strictly Come Dancing, the Monaco Grand Prix and various food cruises.

The Western Mediterranean continues to be a mainstay of the P&O Cruises summer program, with a variety of itineraries and durations,

Six ships will operate 19 cruises round-trip from Southampton. Azura, Britannia and Ventura will deliver the classic 14-night itinerary visiting headline destinations in the region, including Rome (from Civitavecchia), Florence & Pisa (from Livorno or La Spezia), Barcelona and Monte Carlo. Oriana and Aurora itineraries will appeal to past guests with longer discovery cruises and calls to smaller and lesser frequented destinations. Highlights include Sorrento, Propriano, Olbia and Calvi.

The Central Mediterranean will be offered via five itineraries on three ships –  Azura, Arcadia and Oriana. All itineraries are 19 nights and are designed to give guests a well-paced experience with a mix of highlight ports of call and relaxing days at sea, the company said.

The Azura will operate the only Aegean itinerary in September, including calls to Athens (from Piraeus), Mykonos and Santorini. Arcadia and Oriana will both operate the classic Adriatic itinerary, with all cruises featuring Venice and Dubrovnik, as well as calls to Corfu, Split and Messina.

In the Baltic, the Azura, Britannia, Arcadia and Aurora will all operate the classic 14-night itinerary from Southampton including a two-day call in St Petersburg. In addition, all cruises will feature calls to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Tallinn, offering guests the most popular destinations in the region.

Arcadia and Aurora will each operate a longer 16-night cruise, designed to balance some of the key destinations as well as lesser frequented ports of call. Both cruises feature the overnight in St Petersburg, but also offer calls to Klaipėda, Visby and Gdynia, while Arcadia will offer a maiden call to Fredericia in Denmark.

In 2019, seven-night cruises to the Norwegian Fjords will be on Britannia, Azura and Ventura, and will run throughout the season from April to September.  Arcadia and Aurora will continue to offer a more immersive 12-night experience with plenty of ports and scenic cruising, including calls to Olden and Flåm as well as Geiranger, Skjolden and Eidfjord. Oriana will offer a unique 18-night Discovery cruise to the very top of Norway and beyond, including a sail-by of the North Cape followed by a call and scenic cruising in Longyearbyen in Svalbard.

(P&O)

Malcolm says: So there is no news yet of Adonia’s itinerary for any dates after March 2019. This is ominous! Surely she can’t be leaving the fleet again? However new tonnage tends to make older tonnage redundant. They have all those Britannia cabins to fill. P&O’s next ship will be a MONSTER – see HERE.

The next P&O ship at 184,000gt

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AIDA Helios-Class Movie

June 27, 2017

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(“Just My Holiday”)

AIDA Cruises has issued a movie of its next class of ships, the Helios-class.

These ships are aimed at the German market and will be in excess of 180,000 gross tons and carry 5,200 passengers (lower berths), powered by LNG.

The first AIDA ship will be delivered from Meyer Werft in late 2018, the second in 2021.

The ships design will have 21 stateroom categories, ranging from penthouse suites to family, veranda staterooms and single cabins.

(Courtesy AIDA)

There will be 17 restaurants, including the traditional German self-service options, a-la-carte restaurants and five specialty options. Among the specialty options will be French Kiss, Casanova and the Brauhaus. (Apparently the German’s like buffets and there will be a good choice of them on-board).

(Image Courtesy AIDA)

The Dome (Image courtesy AIDA)

Deck 16 will be an activity deck with a waterslide, water park, mini golf and a ropes course.

The pool deck will have a light-weight retractable glass roof, making the ships suitable for deployment in Northern Europe, in the winter. This will feature AIDA’s popular beach-club as on-board AIDAprima.

(AIDA Cruises)

The Costa version  (Courtesy Carnival)

Malcolm says: We have now seen renderings of the Costa Cruises version of this amazing Carnival design, the P&O version and a leaked model of the Carnival Cruises version.

The P&O version

Although AIDA is aimed at the thriving German market, it looks as if the P&O and AIDA versions of this ship share a ‘Dome’.

The Costa version does not appear to have this feature, but I guess she will spend much of her time in the hot Mediterranean. It’s not clear if the Carnival version will have  a ‘Dome’, but maybe she will not need it in the Caribbean.

The deck space/prom looks to be extensive, rather like MSC’s ‘Seaside’ design which NCL will also be using.

Malcolm.

P&O Cruises Reveals Details Of ‘Most Ambitious’ Ship

October 27, 2016

 

P&O Newbuild 180,000 gt

P&O Model (Courtesy P&O)

Construction of the latest addition to the fleet will get underway next year at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg shipyard in Germany. The ship will enter service in the UK in 2020. At 180,000 tons, it will have a capacity for up to 6,600 guests, making it the largest cruise ship ever built for the British market.

The signature heart of the ship, the Atrium, will be our boldest and brightest yet. Glass walls spanning three decks will let natural light flood in while a grand staircase, gallery and overhead walkways will provide dramatic focal points.

The ship will also be the most environmentally efficient ship in the history of P&O Cruises. Powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas (LNG), exhaust emissions will be significantly reduced to help protect the environment.

You’ll be treated to the best British hospitality and standards of service that you know and love.

Our new star of the show, The Dome

P&O newbuild 180,000 gt

A major new entertainment hub called The Dome will be one of the star attractions of our new ship. Featuring an impressive glass roof, a pool with a retractable stage, a water feature and whirlpools, it offers a unique space whatever the weather.

By day, The Dome is the perfect place for entertainment, relaxation and informal dining. By night, the four key entertainment spaces come alive with aerial performances, roof projections and immersive shows.

There will also be much wider than normal, half-mile promenade deck, called the “Lanai” deck, allowing for al-fresco dining.

A world of even more choice on board

Our new ship has been designed by the world’s leading design and guest experience teams to make sure you have a wealth of dining, entertainment, socialising and relaxation options to suit every mood and occasion: Choose from:

• 17 places to eat to suit all appetites and occasions
• Seven speciality restaurants
• 12 places to enjoy a drink and take in sea views
• 16 whirlpools
• Four swimming pools (three outside and one inside)
• 13 entertainment venues from the theatre to venues for adults only, including three pop-up entertainment spaces
• Nine places to have breakfast
• Five places to take afternoon tea
• Seven places to enjoy fresh coffee

Partnering with the best in the business

Design innovation is being taken to new levels by collaborations with award-winning architectural and interior design teams. We’re proud to be working with residential and commercial architects Jestico & Whiles (London), whose work includes Aquashard (London), the Yas Hotel (Abu Dhabi) and the W Hotel (London). We’re once again joining forces with Richmond International (London), who worked with us on Britannia and whose luxury hotel portfolio includes The Langham Hotel (London and Chicago), The Four Seasons Moscow, and Sandy Lane Hotel (Barbados).

The design of cabins and the flow of on-board experiences will also be developed under the expert eye of maritime architecture specialists Partner Ship Design and design experts Acumen, who developed the first lie-flat bed for British Airways and Etihad Airways’ opulent three-room sky suites.

STOP PRESS: P&O cruises has decided that it will throw open the naming process for its new cruise ship to the public. Another ‘Boaty McBoatface’ maybe?

(Source: P&O)

Below slide show:

Malcolm says: Carnival are providing AIDA, Costa and their own brand with these ships. From the P&O information above and the renderings of the Costa version of the ship, there will be some design differences between the Costa and P&O versions. For example the Costa renderings does not show a ‘Sky Dome’.

I’m still not convinced that such a large ship is a good ‘fit’ for P&O. But then I’m forgetting that P&O are no longer just catering for the ‘socks & sandals’ brigade, they are now a mass-market line hoping to attract the same passengers as Carnival, RCI and NCL.

Perhaps the most disturbing fact is that this cruise ship will carry more passengers than any other ship in history, up to 6,600. This is more that RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class, yet will be 20% smaller. You will have a little less room on-board, than on RCI’s ‘Quantum’ and ‘Oasis’ classes.

The port of Southampton will surely need more investment, in order to handle a ship carrying up to 6,600 passengers.

P&O/Costa Megaships Analysed: HERE

What is an LNG ship? See HERE

The New P&O/Carnival Mega-Ships Analysed

September 12, 2016

Carnival has announced that they have ordered seven 180,000gt mega-ships from the German ship builder Meyer Werft: two for Costa, two for Carnival, two for AIDA and one for P&O to be delivered between 2019 and 2022.

So far we have seen the renderings of the ship in the Costa livery and  a model of the P&O version. All versions are likely to be similar, but there are clearly some differences.

As per usual the renderings are not very clear in detail. If fact details can be deliberately withheld on early renderings. However I am not going to let a lack of facts stop me at least speculating about the ships design.

Firstly we can see that the design looks relatively conventional, with no split superstructure (like Oasis) and no unusual external features like ‘North Star’ (Anthem’s observation pod).

These ships will carry a maximum of 6,600 passengers, which is a world record. That’s up to 300 more passengers than Oasis, yet she will be 20% smaller. Therefore I don’t think we can expect Parks, Ice rinks, long Internal promenades or large indoor sports halls.  These sort of features may well be too space-hungry. In addition the Costa, AIDA, P&O and to an extent Carnival brands tend to avoid such ‘gimmicks’.  Their clientele do not expect them , although such big ships are likely to have extensive family/children’s facilities. They cannot ignore that sector of the market, if they want to fill their ships.

In fact the ships design looks rather like AIDA Prima, AIDA’s newbuild. Maybe some of AIDA’s design features will feature on-board the new  megaships?

The new ships bow is quite distinctive and rather like the one featured on AIDAprima. In fact AIDAprima does not have the traditional bulbous-bow, as she uses the MALS system. Maybe these newbuilds will use the same system?

AIDAprima, Nagasaki Japan. No bulbous bow.

AIDAprima, Nagasaki Japan. No bulbous bow.

There are clearly no big LNG tanks on deck, like some LNG ships (see here), so the tanks have been integrated into the ships hull. However I believe they are not allowed to be low/deep within the hull like normal fuel tanks, for safety reasons. This may alter the ships engine room design/internal layout quite significantly.

I count 8 lifeboats per side (Oasis has seven per side). However given the higher passenger numbers, the lifeboats must be bigger. In fact I believe they are the new ‘Fassmer’(See here) ones carrying 414 passengers each, compared to the Oasis/Schat-Harding lifeboats at 370 passengers each.

The lifeboats appear to be served by their own promenade deck, to enable passengers to board the lifeboats. Such prom. decks are not great for giving passengers a sea views as the lifeboats often obscure much of them. However their appears to be a second promenade deck.

The stern features a low extended deck area, reminiscent of MSC’s ‘Seaside’ ships. There appears to be six cabanas against the railings. Seven decks rise from the stern offering prime real-estate: many aft facing balcony cabins. Maybe the row of windows below the stern deck could be a restaurant?

Looking at the Costa renderings: Leading from the aft deck area, are some steps to a raised promenade deck which runs along 80% of the side of the ship. This prom deck is above the lifeboats and obviously solely for public use and not for lifeboat boarding. It does not appear to wrap around the bow, unless it has an internal tunnel. The rendering is not specific, but this could feature some bars and restaurants like NCL’s ‘Waterfront’. (“A much wider, half-mile promenade deck allowing for al-fresco dining.” was recently reported by P&O) 

The P&O model does NOT appear to show ‘steps’ on the prom, but seems to show a level, uninterrupted one level prom. P&O call it the ‘Lanai’ deck.

NewCostaShipsLNG2ddf3

Above: Courtesy of Costa. (Click to enlarge)

 

2016-10-26-21-49kk-14-1

P&O Model

Costa: CostaThe upper superstructure (amidships) appears to have  a glass skylight and a pool. Some structures run along side of ‘skylight’ and pool, on both the port and starboard sides, sloping down to the deck. Are these the tubes of a slide or maybe a track, for some sort of ride.

200

In front of the funnel appears to be two spirals which definitely look like slides/water chutes (flumes).

(Courtesy of Seatrader)

(Courtesy of Seatradeinsider)

Costa: The central Skylight could suggest a central internal space like AIDA’s ‘Theatrium’ – a combined Atrium and performance space, with seating, rather than a conventional theatre at the bow. Carnival did mention the clever use of internal space with multi-function public rooms . (“An atrium with a glass wall the full height” has recently been reported by P&O)

I was not expecting a ‘tall’ atrium unless it had a duel role, as they are essentially a waste of space on such a busy ship.

23. (Red) AIDAprima Theatrariun

23. AIDAprima Theatrium (amidships)

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An AIDA Theatrarium – cick to enlarge (Image courtesy of AIDA)

Costa: Towards the front of the upper deck there is a cut-out which appears to be the location for a pool. The structure above it, looks like a sliding roof.

100

Costa: Behind the funnel there appears to be a glass-canopy, probably covering a pool and maybe forming a ‘Solarium’. That makes three pools on the upper deck. (It is now reported by P&O that there are three outside pools and one inside).

'Dome' behind funnel.

‘The Dome’ behind funnel.

It has since been reported by P&O : “The dome at the top of the new ship will be an entertainment space, with a pool and retractable stage, water feature and whirlpools, that can act as an all-weather venue for entertainment and dining during the day”. The Costa renderings do NOT show a Dome. It appears that the P&O’s Dome replaces a water-chute/flume on the Costa ship. This would seem to shrink the space available on the P&O sun deck.

2016-10-26-21-49-14-1bbb

The Dome

Costa: There appears to be a giant outdoor video screen at the very stern (image below), with tiered seating facing it. There appears to be a ‘scenic’ (Princess ‘Skywalkers’ type) walkway above the screen. I’m not sure if a fourth pool is hidden down there in the space.

150new

Costa: Amidships, but nearer the hull, there are three lines of windows on a curved section of the hull. This may be part of a possible ‘Theatrium’ a lounge or a dining room?

Internal Décor: I wonder if the now elderly, Mr. Joe farkus, will be creating more mind blowing interior décor as he has done for Carnival and Costa?  P&O will obviously have a more conservative approach to her décor.

One main dining room and one main theatre each holding half the ships compliment of passengers at two sittings, with two matching show-times, is the most efficient use of space (apart from when they are empty). However it is not very flexible.

Carnival ships have often had this traditional feature. However I would  expect multiple dining rooms – like NCL’s Freestyle/RCI Dynamic Dining. This may be Carnivals first real shot at a ‘flexible dining’ system like NCL’s ‘Freestyle’ or RCI’s ‘Dynamic Dining’. Although RCI have struggled to make their new system work well, so scapped it.

Four entertainment spaces have sine been reported by P&O, the Dome being one. A Theatrium could be a second, a conventional theatre could be a third, the screen with seating, at the stern, could be the fourth.

Costa 180,000gt ship

Courtesy of Costa. (Click to enlarge)

P&O have reported that there will be:

17 places to eat to suit all appetites and occasions
• Seven speciality restaurants
• 12 places to enjoy a drink and take in sea views
• 16 whirlpools
• Four swimming pools (three outside and one inside)
• 13 entertainment venues from the theatre to venues for adults only, including three pop-up entertainment spaces
• Nine places to have breakfast
• Five places to take afternoon tea
• Seven places to enjoy fresh coffee

In conclusion, the above text is a mixture of observation and guess work.

I do wonder if this new ship design will be a  little more like existing AIDA ships in design, than existing Costa, Carnival or P&O ones.

Interestingly I understand AIDA (aimed at the German market) are more relaxed in style, with a younger, more active demographic whose passengers favour buffet food. The entertainment is not the big Broadway type productions. Whereas Costa (Italian) are more traditional in style, with more formal dining and more lavish production shows.

It’s hard to imagine that one design of ship can entirely satisfies all camps.

I don’t think these ships will be very exciting, in terms of innovative spaces; Carnival tend to ‘play it safe’. They will probably be pretty conventional mass-market ships with thousands of cabins and many bars, dining rooms and shops. I believe that will be designed for maximum income generation and not spaciousness or unique facilities. Carnival have always focused on functionality and profit and leaves the innovation to the likes of RCI and NCL.

The most exciting aspects about these ships design will probably be their ‘scale’ and the LNG propulsion. However, the propulsion of course will have little impact on the passenger experience. (Apart from a soot free deck?)

Even with a half-mile promenade deck, given the passenger numbers, the pool deck is likely to be very crowded at anytime the sun shines.

I’m not suggesting that they will be bad ships. I just don’t think they will have room for generously sized public spaces or too much design-innovation. However the aspects of the design to manage the high passenger numbers, could be classed as an innovation in itself.

However the passenger density and ‘economies of scale’ offered by this ship design should enable Carnival to sell the cabins at very competitive rates.

Of course aspects of my speculation are likely to completely wrong. All comments welcome.

Malcolm

So what is an LNG powered Ship? See Here

Is LNG safe? See Here

Azura Meets Black Watch

September 13, 2015

(Image courtesy of Sergio Ferreira – click to enlarge)

P&O’s Megaship ‘Azura’ (2010) recently met Fred Olsen’s ‘Black Watch’ (1971).

This is what 115,000 gross tonnes ship, that can carry 3,000+ passengers looks like, when compared to 28,000 gross tonnes ship, that can carry 800 passengers.

The ships were built 39 years apart.

Malcolm

Black Watch Review: HERE

Ventura (sister of Azura) Review: HERE

Marco Polo Meets Britannia

June 10, 2015
(Image Courtesy of Karen Bradbury – click to enlarge )

(Image Courtesy of Karen Bradbury – click to enlarge )

In Marco Polo’s 50th years she has seen many different ships but this is the first time she has met P&O’s newest addition to their fleet, Britannia (left of image).

These two ships met in the beautiful Norwegian town of Flam, which gave their meeting a spectacular backdrop.

(S.Law, CMV)

Malcolm says: See, NOT all ships are the same. That’s what 143,000 gross tonnes (4,324 passengers) looks like compared to 22,000 gt (900 passengers).

Marco Polo review HERE

Sapphire Princess Review

January 6, 2015

Last year (2014), I saw a cruise deal for a November departure.

I was not looking for a holiday at that time of the year, in fact neither was my bank balance. However it was so exotic and so cheap, that it was just too good to miss.

The Holiday began with 3 nights in Beijing, China, then a 9 night cruise on the Sapphire Princess, finishing with three nights in Hong Kong. The ports of call in-between were Shanghai (China), Nagasaki (Japan) and Busan (South Korea).

As per usual I have written a comprehensive review. It is not a holiday review. It does not focus on the ports of call, but the ship and cruise line itself: the on-board experience.

My rational is that you may be thinking of taking a Princess cruise in another part of the world, maybe even on a different Princess ship.  Enjoy.

Malcolm

Sapphire Princess Review: HERE