In a year that’s seen the birth of Prince George and the launch of Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, it seems fitting that P&O Cruises has announced that the UK’s largest ever cruise liner is to be given a suitably regal name. The ship, due to be delivered to the company in spring 2015, will be called Britannia.

Of course, the most famous vessel with that name up until now is the Queen’s favourite yacht. Now permanently moored in Leith, Edinburgh, having been decommissioned in 1997, Royal Yacht Britannia was a home from home for the Queen and her family, sailing more than 1,000,000 miles during 40 years of active service. The yacht is now a popular tourist attraction in the Scottish capital and worth visiting if you’re on a British Isles cruise, many of which call at Edinburgh.

While more modest than the luxury liners of today, Royal Yacht Britannia did have surprisingly modern facilities, including a cinema that was capable of showing 3D films. It also only had one formal dining room as opposed to the 13 new restaurants and cafes on P&O Cruises’ ship, which will also boast 13 bars.

So how does the old Britannia measure up to P&O Cruises’ new megaship? Here is a comparison of the two magnificent ships:

[table caption=”

Britannia v Britannia

” width=”640″ colwidth=”175|300|300″ colalign=”left|center|center”]

,HMY Britannia,Britannia
Operator,The Royal Navy,P&O Cruises
Built,”John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank near Glasgow, Scotland”,”Fincantieri, Monfalcone near Trieste, Italy”
Keel laid,16 June 1952,15 May 2013
Launched,16 April 1953,Planned for spring 2015
Length,412 ft,”1,082 ft”
Weight,”5,862 tons”,”141,000 tons”
Passengers,250,”4,327″
Crew,21 officers and 250 men,”1,400″
Decks,5,15
Swimming pools,0,4
[/table]

What do you think of the new Britannia? Are you looking forward to booking a cruise on P&O Cruises’ latest liner? Let us know!

Images by P&O and Beechwood Photography

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