P&O Cruises showcased the dining and entertainment features of its latest newbuild Britannia to an invited audience in London, UK on 12 February.
In a large warehouse space in the East End of the capital, whose exterior was lit up with the iconic red, white and blue of the brand's new livery, the company had recreated experiences that passengers will enjoy onboard the ship. Guests wandered from room to room to watch the stars of 'Strictly Come Dancing', who will cruise on Britannia when she is launched in spring 2015, and observe a brace of celebrity chefs comprising the brand's 'Food Heroes' onboard Cookery Club preparing food on camera. They also had the opportunity to sample a typical dinner in the Limelight Club, a combined entertainment and dining venue, while listening to a live cabaret singer.
“Britannia will introduce cutting-edge design, combined with a range of innovations uniquely styled to appeal to those who may not have considered a cruise holiday before, as well as our many loyal past passengers,” said Edgington: “Combining the excitement of cruising with the sophistication of a five-star hotel, Britannia is not only the biggest ship built for the British market, but the most glamorous too. We have set out to make Britannia the biggest and the best and we are confident passengers will be wowed by the experience.”
British TV chef James Martin will develop The Cookery Club, the first cookery school onboard a British cruise ship, while award-winning patissier Eric Lanlard will open his first patisserie range in the Market Café in the ship’s three-tier atrium. Established P&O Cruises favourites Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and Olly Smith will also contribute to the onboard culinary options, which include speciality restaurants and gala dinners.
Passengers will be able to participate in cookery classes under the guidance of the chefs, while guest chefs will provide onboard assistance to classes of up to 24 people.
In addition to the new Cookery Club, passengers will also be able to visit 13 bars and 13 dining venues, Oasis Spa and open-deck retreat, a sports arena, four swimming pools including a Serenity pool and bar and a library. Guests will also be able to enjoy various entertainment venues including The Limelight Club, a 936-seat theatre with an LED screen and a multi-purpose TV studio hosting shows with guest speakers, cinema screenings, radio plays or game shows.
The ship will also offer 27 single cabins – more than any other cruise ship – and 15 of those cabins will have outside balconies.
“Britannia will showcase an incredible array of facilities for children and teenagers including dedicated teens pool area and we have ensured that our prices remain constant throughout the year irrespective of the timing of the peak school holiday periods,” P&O Cruises’ marketing director Christopher Edgington said. “We are conscious of the hardship families face when taking holidays at these time and are therefore committed to fair pricing throughout the year.”
After her March 2015 launch, Britannia will sail an inaugural roundtrip cruise from her homeport in Southampton, UK, to Gibraltar, Spain and Italy. She will then offer itineraries from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands and the Baltic Sea, as well as offering a range of short breaks and a special cruise around Britain.
During the winter season, Britannia will sail a series of 15-night fly/cruise itineraries from Barbados.