Sunday was a day of significant celebration for P&O Cruises as their largest ever ship officially joined the fleet. Additionally, the final instalment of the Britannia was 5% cheaper than anticipated thanks to the strong sterling and the Eurozone crisis.
As the Britannia officially became the newest member of the P&O fleet, the cruise line completed the final instalment of £473m, significantly lower than the anticipated £500m. With more than 70% of the total Britannia berths already booked for her debut season on the seas, P&O have plenty to celebrate this year.
The ship is the largest ever designed solely for the British holiday market, although it is slightly smaller than Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas – which will spend its debut season sailing out of Southampton.
Recent rumours have linked the Queen with naming the vessel during an official ceremony on 10 March. This would continue a run of good news that P&O have received regarding the Britannia – following the Fincantieri shipyard completing the building of the ship on time and on budget.
The new Britannia will be the third ship of the name in P&O’s history, with the first two Britannias entering service with the company in 1835 and 1887 respectively.
The Britannia is due to leave the shipyard for Southampton later this week. The ship is reported by P&O’s parent company, Carnival, to be the greenest ships on the seas, with a fuel consumption rate 20% lower than the rest of the fleet.
The P&O Britannia is set for her maiden voyage on 14 March, taking in Spain, Italy and France. The ship’s debut season will see her visit the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands and Atlantic Islands. The Britannia’s first winter season will take in 14 different Caribbean itineraries.
With a distinctive 94 metre Union Jack flag painted on the ship’s bow, the Britannia promises to be an awe-inspiring sight for cruise enthusiasts throughout Europe following her launch.
Images via P&O Cruises.