P&O Cruises, the UK focused contemporary market unit in the Carnival Corp & plc group, will match the profiles of its ships with those of the ports they will call in the Summer 2019 so that the largest ships focus ion the most popular ports and smaller ones on off the beaten tracks ports.
The itineraries include weekly seven-night Norway Fjords cruises on Britannia, Ventura and Azura between April and September and fortnightly 14-night Western Mediterranean cruises on Britannia, Ventura and Azura between May and October
It also features past guest oriented immersive cruising on Arcadia and Aurora and discovery-led itineraries and scenic cruising opportunities on Oriana plus Mediterranean fly-cruise programme on Oceana, which will be based at Malta, combining the best of the Mediterranean.
Theme cruises in 2019 include:
- Strictly Come Dancing: unique to P&O Cruises, each Strictly Come Dancing holiday features all the pizzazz of the TV show with professional dancers captivating guests with incredible, show-stopping routines. They also offer up close and personal interviews on board as well as photo and meet and greet opportunities. Dates to be announced in due course.
- Formula One Monaco Grand Prix: One of the most high profile and glamorous races on the Formula OneTMcalendar. It is also one of the most demanding tracks in F1TM, as it snakes its way through the narrow streets of Monaco. Guests can watch their favourite drivers go head to head at speeds of close to 200mph from trackside seats . Available on Oceana’s 14-night Central Mediterranean cruise round trip from Valletta departing May 16.
- Food Heroes: P&O Cruises Food Heroes will once again take to the high seas to serve up some of the finest gourmet experiences to be had on land or water. The Food Heroes cruises are headlined by some of the brightest lights in the British culinary scene and are a fabulous opportunity for anyone with an interest in food to meet their own food hero, whether it is James Martin, Marco Pierre White, Olly Smith, Atul Kochhar or Eric Lanlard.
The Western Mediterranean continues to be a mainstay of the P&O Cruises summer programme, with a variety of itineraries and durations designed to appeal to everyone. Six ships will operate 19 cruises round-trip from Southampton. Azura, Britannia and Ventura will deliver the classic 14-night itinerary visiting headline destinations in the region, including Rome (from Civitavecchia), Florence & Pisa (from Livorno or La Spezia), Barcelona and Monte Carlo. Oriana and Aurora itineraries will appeal to past guests with longer discovery cruises and calls to smaller and lesser frequented destinations. Highlights include Sorrento, Propriano, Olbia and Calvi.
The Central Mediterranean has long been a popular P&O Cruises itinerary as it includes the iconic architecture of Venice and Dubrovnik in the Adriatic, and Athens (from Piraeus) in the Aegean. In 2019, P&O Cruises will operate five itineraries to this region on three ships - Azura, Arcadia and Oriana. All itineraries are 19 nights and are designed to give guests a well-paced experience with a mix of highlight ports of call and relaxing days at sea. Azura will operate the only Aegean itinerary in September, including calls to Athens (from Piraeus), Mykonos and Santorini. Arcadia and Oriana will both operate the classic Adriatic itinerary, with all cruises featuring Venice and Dubrovnik, as well as calls to Corfu, Split and Messina.
As in previous years, P&O Cruises will provide guests with the opportunity to visit some of the very best cities on the Baltic Sea. Azura, Britannia, Arcadia and Aurora will all operate the classic 14-night itinerary from Southampton including a two-day call in St Petersburg. In addition, all cruises will feature calls to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Tallinn, offering guests the most popular destinations in the region.
Arcadia and Aurora will each operate a longer 16-night cruise, designed to balance some of the key destinations as well as lesser frequented ports of call. Both cruises feature the overnight in St Petersburg, but also offer calls to Klaipėda, Visby and Gdynia, while Arcadia will offer a maiden call to Fredericia in Denmark.
Norway Fjords and North Cape
The Norwegian Fjords continue to be one of the most popular itineraries, especially with those new to cruise. In 2019, seven-night cruises will be on Britannia, Azura and Ventura, and will run throughout the season from April to September. The programme has been designed around delivering the best possible Norway Fjords experience and includes a wealth of scenic cruising including one or both of the deep fjords, Flåm and Olden, or a call to the Norwegian town of Ålesund. All cruises feature calls to Stavanger and Bergen on the way to and from the fjords themselves.
Arcadia and Aurora will continue to offer a more immersive 12-night experience with plenty of ports and scenic cruising, including calls to Olden and Flåm as well as Geiranger, Skjolden and Eidfjord. Oriana will offer a unique 18-night Discovery cruise to the very top of Norway and beyond, including a sail-by of the North Cape followed by a call and scenic cruising in Longyearbyen in Svalbard. The cruise will also offer calls to Leknes and Honningsvåg.
P&O Cruises will continue to visit this spectacular destination in 2019 with three cruises throughout June and July. The key destination is Reykjavik, and both Ventura and Arcadia will offer an overnight stay here, as well as calls to Akureyri and Isafjördur. Arcadia travels to Iceland via the Norwegian Fjords, whilst Ventura includes a call to Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands, plus calls to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Oriana also offers calls to the headline Iceland destinations of Reykjavik, Akureyri and Isafjördur, and complements these with calls to Tórshavn, and Killybegs in the Republic of Ireland.
The Canary Islands are a mainstay of the summer programme, delivering relaxation and sunshine in durations ranging from 11 to 16 nights. All itineraries include a strong mix of popular destinations including Madeira, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria or Tenerife.
Azura, Britannia and Ventura will cruise the classic Atlantic Islands itinerary in either 11, 12 13 or 14 nights, including calls to Madeira on the way to the Canary Islands, and either La Coruña or Lisbon on the return leg.
Oriana and Aurora will offer longer duration cruises of 16 nights, delivering either an immersive Atlantic Island experience including an overnight in Madeira, or a more expansive itinerary that includes two calls to the Azores, Ponta Delgada and Praia da Vitória.
The Iberian coast and the south of Spain offer a wealth of mainstream and discovery ports to appeal to past guests and newcomers alike. Azura, Ventura and Oriana will all operate a 12- or 13-night Iberian cruise stretching to southern Spain, with Azura travelling as far into the Mediterranean as Valencia. All cruises also offer calls to Cartagena and Gibraltar, as well as either Lisbon or La Coruña. Oriana will also operate a longer 16-night cruise which calls into three Balearic Islands: Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza.
Oriana will offer a holiday experience a little closer to home in 2019, with a 13-night British Isles cruises in June. Oriana’s cruise will offer calls to Scotland and Ireland, including Glasgow (from Greenock), Lerwick, Cork (from Cobh), Dublin and Killybegs, as well as stretching beyond the British Isles to Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands.
P&O Cruises will once again provide guests with the opportunity to witness one of the most iconic seasonal changes in the world; the autumn colours of Canada/New England. Aurora and Arcadia will each operate a cruise in September 2019, with Arcadia offering a new immersive 24-night Canadian itinerary, including an overnight in Quebec. Meanwhile, Aurora will offer a longer 30-night itinerary with a series of Canadian calls followed by three full days in New York.
The Arabian Gulf is a new and exciting destination for P&O Cruises and is the first new programme since the introduction of fly-Med in 2014. As part of the planning for summer 2019, four new extended repositioning cruises will be added to the programme, combining the unique Arabian Gulf positioning from Dubai to Malta cruise via the Suez Canal, with the start of Oceana’s Med fly-cruise programme.
P&O Cruises range of long Caribbean cruises in the winter provide guests with the opportunity for complete relaxation without the need for a long-haul flight. Embarking in Southampton, Arcadia will operate the first of these winter cruises, departing at the end of October for 28 nights, and offering a selection of the very best Caribbean islands.
Mediterranean fly-cruise programme
Departing weekly from Malta, Oceana will once again deliver a Mediterranean fly-cruise programme, offering a choice of Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean itineraries throughout the season and offering calls to the very best that the Mediterranean has to offer.
The Central Mediterranean itineraries will continue to feature the headline destinations of Venice and Dubrovnik, as well as calls to other Adriatic ports such as Zadar, Hvar, Kotor and Split. The Eastern Mediterranean itineraries will offer a wealth of Greek destinations, including Athens (from Piraeus), Katakolon and Heraklion, as well as a call to Sarandë in Albania.
The Western Mediterranean itineraries will all offer two headline Italian ports, either a combination of Rome (from Civitavecchia), Florence/Pisa (from Livorno) or Naples. There are also calls to the French Riviera or Sardinia and Corsica across the programme.
Short cruises are a staple of the P&O Cruises programme throughout the year, providing guests with an opportunity for a short getaway or celebration.
The majority of short breaks are Bruges (from Zeebrugge) and St Peter Port in Guernsey, which feature across the two, three and four night durations. In addition, Azura will offer a four night cruise in March to Amsterdam, including two full days in port.
More evening and overnight calls
To allow guests to experience the vibrant nightlife in a destination, P&O Cruises is offering evening calls in 15 ports and overnights in nine popular destinations including Amsterdam, Boston, Dubai, Madeira, New York, Quebec, Reykjavik, Rotterdam and St Petersburg.