What could be more romantic than boarding a ship in Venice on Valentine’s Day? The city of star crossed lovers played host to the launch of Britannia – the latest in P&O Cruises’ fleet – and the best part was, I was invited to be there!

Private jet

After flying to Italy on a private jet, I witnessed the beautiful coin ceremony – when coins were welded into the side – before listening to speeches by Attillio Dapelo from Fincantieri and Gerard Tempest, the Chief Operating Officer at Carnival UK/P&O Cruises. All of this was rounded off with a blessing of the ship and the singing of the Italian and English national anthems before the cord was cut to smash a bottle of Prosecco against the side. I must admit the atmosphere was magical, marking a historic moment for the cruise industry!


The Britannia aims to capture both the heritage of P&O Cruises and the spirit of Britain, and it does so almost effortlessly. Following in the footsteps of two former ships, including one commissioned to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, this ship lives up to its name with both a contemporary yet classic feel.

Each area has been thought out in great detail, from the beautiful atrium’s glowing ‘starburst’ centrepiece, which greets you as you climb on board, to the library and relaxing spa facilities. Guests can even get married inside dedicated wedding facilities. Every detail has been accounted for on this ship, and it exudes glamour from every corner.

The itineraries you can book are exciting and varied too. Set sail in the paradise of the Caribbean during the winter months of 2015 and 2016, with flights included if you leave from London Gatwick. Further trips will cover 11 different regions, from the Western Mediterranean to the Canaries and the Baltic.


Meanwhile, the Britannia has been built as the largest ship exclusively for Britain, so what could be more fitting than a 12-night showcase cruise around the British Isles? Departing from Southampton, take in ports of call that include Edinburgh, Inverness, Kirkwall, Dublin and Liverpool to see this magnificent country in a whole new light.

Round off your days in port with some fine cuisine and excellent entertainment. P&O Cruises work with some of the biggest chefs in the business, including Olly Smith and Marco Pierre White, who will bring you culinary delights before you enjoy an evening at one of nine venues. Quality musical productions will take place in Headliners Theatre, there will be a brand new Deck Show and The Studio will host musical recitals and classes, to name just a few of the highlights.

Theatre Britannia

The Britannia truly is a ship that has it all, so what are you waiting for? Tickets go on sale from the 27th March 2014, so register your interest here to make sure you don’t miss out!

Images from P&O Cruises and CruiseDeals

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