Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

105 the evidence to support our vision and motivate us to continue this journey.” P&O Ferries is also investing in a new digital solution to improve the customer experience. “Our routes are a gateway to a world of adventure and we need to be a one-stopshop to give our passengers access to a complete vacation experience within a few clicks,” says Hebblethwaite. “We’re working hard on building a better digital solution which will be launching in 2023. And it’s not just on the front end, we’ve completely restructured our internal IT department and are starting to really leverage our parent company DP World’s considerable resources in this area.” According to Hebblethwaite, providing the best customer experience for customers is a top priority throughout the business. “We’ve become a passionately ‘customer-first’ business and so we’ve maintained that focus for both our freight drivers and tourists,” he says. “There are still more improvements for us to pursue and our plans will continue to evolve to keep pace with customer demand. We have an opportunity to develop a spa-type concept on longer routes, while on a shorter route we may just look to tweak the food options, upgrade the club experience or enhance the drivers’ facilities. These decisions are driven by our customers and informed by our intimate knowledge of their needs.” To help meet customer expectations, P&O Ferries is carrying out refurbishments on its fleet according to a schedule that has been carefully planned to minimise disruption. “All of our current upgrade plans can be completed via a rolling programme while the ships are in service or in routine dry docks, so we don’t need plan any additional time out of the water,” explains Hebblethwaite. “The two biggest interior projects are the refurbishment of our inside cabins and the introduction of a spa, both of which will happen through this year and next. We’ve already renewed the premium cabins and most of the outside cabins. The most noticeable change will be to the back wall, which we’re livening up with giant images, such as a picture of the Humber Bridge onboard Pride of Hull. We’re about