Nobody does tradition quite the way Great Britain does, and the high seas heritage continues with the unveiling of the Britannia, the largest cruise ship the UK market has ever seen. And if the ship itself isn’t already majestic enough, it will be impossible to ignore the gigantic red, white and blue Union Flag emblazoned on the Britannia. On the 7th December, Britannia (yet to be named) took its first trip out into open waters.
P&O: the proud British tradition
There is no doubt that P&O are rightly proud of their new vessel, and the Union Flag is an ongoing symbol of British solidarity in the world cruising market. The enormity of the ship is understood further when we discover that more than 400 litres of paint was used on the Union Flag design, and another 160 litres for the P&O logo.
It would have been impossible to imagine 175 years ago, when P&O began, that the British shipping company would evolve to become possibly the most recognisable name in world cruising today. The Britannia is the culmination of years of planning that has resulted in a sleek and powerful ship that is equally at home in calm, protected waters, or plying across the great oceans.
Features of P&O Britannia include:
- 3,611 person capacity
- 141,000 tonnes
- 1,083 feet long: the length of almost five Airbus A380s nose to tail
- 15 passenger decks
- 13 bars, restaurants and cafes
- 62,400 kW of power… equivalent to 84 Bugatti Veyrons
- …and can cruise at a speed of 22k
First time cruisers will feel they have arrived in another world as soon as they step onboard the Britannia. Outstanding features include the eye-catching atrium; a cinema and studio complex large enough for conferences and guest speakers; everybody’s favourite entertainment precinct, the Limelight Club; and even a cutting edge cookery school presided over by highly talented chefs.
If learning how to cook isn’t your thing, and you prefer to be the one sampling the dining delicacies, the P&O Britannia features a star-studded culinary line-up including Marco Pierre White, Olly Smith and master patissier Eric Lanlard. Maybe it really is true what they say about cruising, and you really should bring a pair or two of larger trousers with you just in case the food is irresistible.
The 2015 launch date nears
The Britannia has been designed to operate around the world, and it’s sure to become the focal point wherever it sails. March 2015 is the official inauguration date for the P&O Britannia to depart Southampton before cruising the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Although itineraries are not finalised, it’s expected that the majestic vessel and proud Union Flag will also be seen across the Atlantic and around the Caribbean during the northern winter. The launch of the Britannia also coincides with P&O plans to undergo revamping all eight vessels in the fleet in a move that will bolster its position as one of the world’s great cruise lines.
The design of Britannia will please both cruise ship aficionados and environmentalists alike. The newly designed hull is expected to result in 20% less fuel consumption, and the ‘best of the best’ approach has been used in the build throughout, adding another string to the P&O bow, and signalling to rivals that once again, Britannia really does rule the waves.