P&O Cruises revamps the onboard experience for 2017

Cruise line works with Ruthie Henshall, Jonathan Wilkes, Marco Pierre White, Mark Foster and Eric Lanlard
P&O Cruises revamps the onboard experience for 2017
Ruthie Henshall's ‘Money Makes The World Go Round’ will immerse guests in 1920's cabaret

By Rebecca Gibson |

P&O Cruises has worked with several British icons to create new menus, onboard activities and theatre shows to celebrate its 180th anniversary in 2017.

In October, British television present and theatre performer Jonathan Wilkes will launch a new stage production onboard Azura named ‘Evolution’. Choreographed by award-winning Barbara Evans, the show features songs by Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Sting, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Paloma Faith. It also combines dancing and techno-visuals to follow the story of two tribes, the Fabricators and the Humanoids.

“It’s a real thrill for me to be producing this show onboard Azura,” said Wilkes. “P&O Cruises has the best state-of-the-art theatres at sea and their special effects, combined with the talented cast, stunning costumes and powerful playlist will allow us to take Azura’s guests on an electrifying theatrical journey.”

This November, guests on Arcadia will be able to enjoy a new stage show developed by British theatre star Ruthie Henshall and Paul Schofield of Three Pin Productions. Based on the music of song writing duo Kander and Ebb, ‘Money Makes The World Go Round’ will create a 1920’s cabaret world on stage and features popular songs from musicals such as ‘Cabaret’, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Flora The Red Menace’. “For me as a performer, to now be wearing a different hat and overseeing the production from conception to launch is a dream come true,” said Henshall. “We have a superb team of award-winning professionals who are currently working on many of London’s biggest shows and I hope that by creating this show onboard Arcadia, we are helping to shape the direction of new productions and bringing a slice of the West End to the sea.”

Food menus have also been revamped. Renowned chef and P&O Cruises Food Hero Marco Pierre White has created a series of new gala dinner menus for the fleet. The new menus, which will be available on all ships during gala evenings, comprise some of White’s favourite classic British dishes prepared in a new way to provide a flavour of the most popular ports of call.

“Gala nights onboard P&O Cruises are always special but I wanted to make them even more exceptional by introducing some of my all-time traditional favourite dishes,” said White. “These dishes are all prepared using the freshest, local ingredients and are designed to give guests a taste of the destinations they are visiting.”

Award-winning French pâtissier and P&O Cruises Food Hero Eric Lanlard has created the new Pavé Royal dessert for the Chef’s Dinner menu in the main dining room. It will comprise dark chocolate mousse layered with soft hazelnut dacquoise meringue and praline wafers, which are coated with a gold-dusted mirror glaze.

“At P&O Cruises we take pride in serving dishes that have been created by experts and that contain the best of the best quality ingredients,” said Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises senior vice president. “Lanlard’s sumptuous Pavé Royal is not only visually stunning and mouthwateringly delicious, but its quality ingredients will be sure to win over our discerning guests.”

Meanwhile, Olympian and six times world champion swimmer Mark Foster will host several family fitness and swimming sessions on Britannia. He will also host An Evening with Mark Foster, a sports quiz with questions compiled by former BBC Sport producers, and other special events with all proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support and Teenage Cancer Trust.

“I’m delighted to be bringing family fitness to Britannia and showing everyone that cruising can be a healthy as well as a fun holiday choice,” said Foster. “There is now a two-year waiting list for swimming lessons in most parts of the UK so where better to jump ahead and into the water than on Britannia.”

P&O Cruises’ new offerings were revealed at a press event at Sky Garden in London (see video).

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