Artist takes to the high seas

Weybridge artist Claire Burke has been commissioned to contribute to Britannia's exclusive on board art collection.

The Cornwall-born artist will provide seven gold-coloured reliefs to be installed in wine expert Olly Smith's The Glass House, which will serve an exclusive list of tipples specially selected by the sommelier himself. 

Having studied at Central St. Martins, Claire's abstract art has featured alongside the likes of Damien Hirst, Sam Taylor Wood and Banksy. Using overlapping silver and gold leaf, Burke hopes to contribute to the laidback and luxurious feel of the ship by drawing on themes of horizon and landscape.

'I hope to achieve a subtle, discreet sense of presence that creates a calm, meditative relationship with the audience,' says Burke. 

With all seven pieces to be supplied by March 2015, it's her biggest commission to date. Nevertheless, Burke is looking forward to reaching even more people through her art. 'This is a big commitment, but it is almost like working towards a solo exhibition, where a number of works need to be made at once,' she said. 

Burke's pieces will contribute to an 8000-strong collection, making it the most valuable moveable art exhibition in the industry.  

October, 2014

Britannia revs to life

Construction on P&O Cruises newest ship Britannia took an exciting leap forward this September as the BBC's Formula One host, Suzi Perry, revved her engines to life at a grand unveiling in Italy. 

It's the first time all four engines have been started on the water at Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, where the team have been working tirelessly to get Britannia ready for her debut cruise around the Iberian coast in March 2015. 

Perry had been hosting the Italian leg of the Grand Prix when she jetted over to the shipyard near Trieste on 8 September to hit the ignition. Britannia's four super engines create an incredible 62,400 kilowatts of power, which is equivalent to 84 Bugatti Veyrons. Travelling at a speed of 22 knots, P&O Cruises biggest ship will cover between 24 and 27 miles per hour.

After the grand event, Perry was taken on an exclusive tour of the ship's two engine rooms with Captain Paul Brown. Just two days previously, Carnival Corp & PLC chairman Micky Arison and Carnival UK CEO David Dingle toured the ship and admired the groundbreaking 94m Union Jack flag painted on its hull. 

Speaking in February 2014, Dingle commented that Britannia was committed to forging a modern standard for cruising, one that celebrated the things that make Britain great now rather than the nostalgic cruising traditions of the past. 

Britannia will set sail for Southampton in February 2015 just weeks before the first guests embark. 

Britannia Tour

Photo Credit: James Morgan

October, 2014

Discover the new-look Our World magazine

The latest issue of Our World magazine has undergone a revamp. A new season calls for a new outlook, and that's something we've aimed to do with over 60 pages of refreshed features, news and interviews to give you some inspiration and expert insight into the itineraries and destinations available this autumn and beyond.  

From the exhilarating natural beauty of the Norwegian Fjords to once-in-a-lifetime adventures around the world, we're still covering the most sought-after P&O Cruises destinations. Plus, our brand new Take Me There pages put you on the inside track, courtesy of the passengers who've already been there.

Elsewhere, we take a look behind the scenes of the P&O Cruises fleet, shining a spotlight on the people who strive to make your holiday an unforgettable experience. This issue we meet Kunal Ghai, the mixologist shaking things behind the bar on Aurora. 

The result, we hope, is an eye-catching magazine that inspires readers with unique ideas and essential travel tips.

What do you make of the latest changes to Our World? We want to hear your opinions on the latest issue, so please do take a few moments to fill in our questionnaire here

To say thank you, we're offering the chance to win a Kobo Mini eReader. This super light weight device is a cruise essential that can store all your favourite books and slip easily into your pocket or handbag.

So for your chance to win, read Our World and let us know what you think. 

Happy reading!

October, 2014

See the 2015 total solar eclipse on Oriana

Following a large number of customer enquiries, P&O Cruises has adjusted Oriana’s schedule to allow her to be present in Torshavn on 20 March 2015 when the Faroe Islands will become one of the world’s best locations from which to witness the sun’s total blackout, which will last for two minutes and 22 seconds. The Faroe Islands eclipse will be the last total solar eclipse to be visible in Europe until 12 August 2026.

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon blocks out the sun completely, forming a shadow on the earth. For this to occur the sun, moon and the earth must form a straight line in their orbits.

In a total solar eclipse you will be able to see one of nature’s most amazing sights, Baily’s Beads, a phenomenon that occurs when the moon appears to graze the sun and flares of light shines through in some places and not others. When one ‘bead’ is left, a diamond ring shape is created. When the shadow of the moon totally covers the sun, this is known as totality and the sun’s atmosphere can be seen as a faint halo. Once the moon moves away from the sun again, onlookers will be able to see Baily’s Beads once more before the sun resurfaces.

Following the morning’s eclipse, the Faroe Islands are preparing an island-wide celebration of local culture, food and drink.

Passengers on board Oriana might just be lucky enough to see the elusive, magical (and highly sought-after) Aurora Borealis with a stop in Alta a few days later. Home to the world’s first Northern Lights observatory, the Norwegian town offers a fantastic insight into this incredible phenomena. 

Visit the Faroe Islands and view the total solar eclipse on board Oriana on a 14-night cruise departing 17 March 2015 

August, 2014

Multi-million pound makeover for Aurora

Aurora will become the first ship in the P&O Cruises fleet to receive the new livery design as a part of its £26 million pound makeover this winter.

As well as receiving the new-look design with a contemporary version of the Union Flag on her bow and new blue funnels with rising sun designs, Aurora will also undergo an interior overhaul, with new restaurants and children’s club updates in her refurbishment. All cabins will also receive new soft furnishings and flat-screen TVs.

Freedom dining comes to the Medina restaurant

Expect new and improved presentation of dishes as freedom dining is introduced to Medina Restaurant. There will also be more tables for two made available and Marco Pierre White dishes will be served at gala events.

Sidewalk Café makeover

The Sidewalk Café will become lighter and brighter, with an informal menu including burgers, wraps, hotdogs and freshly made pizzas and a Costa Coffee outlet. Passengers looking for breakfast or lunch on the go can make the most of its new Grab & Go counter, with a wide selection of hot and cold snacks from morning muesli to lunchtime sandwiches.

A new library location

A brand new library will be located on the site of the current cyb@study on Deck 13. Adjacent to the much-loved Crow’s Nest, it will provide the perfect opportunity to pick up a book and relax with panoramc views. The Crow’s Nest will also serve Costa coffee and light snacks, making it a wonderful option for a peaceful afternoon at sea.

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The Reef remodelled

The Reef Children’s Clubs will be refurbished and renamed.

-       Splashers for ages 2-4.

-       Surfers for ages 5-8.

-       Scuba for ages 9-12.

-       H2O for teens (as pictured).

Aurora Refit 2014 - Overview -7

Sindhu

Aurora’s foodie experiences are at the heart of her new look. Indian fusion restaurant Sindhu, designed by Michelin-star celebrity chef Atul Kochhar, will replace the current library space on deck 8 at the top of the atrium for evening fine dining. Atul Kochhar’s signature menu will be refreshed with the usual delicious mix of authentic Indian dishes with a modern British take. During the day the area will provide extra seating for Raffles Bar, which will serve Costa Coffee and light snacks.

Aurora Refit 2014 - Overview -8

The Glass House replaces Café Bordeaux

The area previously inhabited by Café Bordeaux will be refurbished in a new green colour palette and feature wine displays, including those selected by Olly Smith. As well as an all-new food and wine menu, there will also be a private room for wine tastings and dinners. Wines will be served via an Enomatic machine 

Aurora Refit 2014 - Overview -9

Extensive buffet refurbishment

The buffet décor will be refreshed and refined with a lighter, brighter colour scheme that incorporates nautical-inspired artwork. As well as an increase in more tables for two, waiters will serve tea and coffee to tables at peak times. In the evening the current Pennant Grill menu will be replaced by The Beach House menu from Ventura, which is a great informal evening choice – think steaks and seafood in a panoramic setting - and soon to become a fleet-wide standard.

Aurora Refit 2014 - Overview -13

Champions and Casino becomes Brodie’s

The refurbishment will transform the entire area into an open plan space, in keeping with the new Brodie’s theme. There will be new furniture in the bar area, new screens for showing sport and an improved stage area for entertainment, including live music and quizzes.  

P&O Cruises marketing director Christopher Edgington said: “This is a massive investment. It’s all part of our on-going commitment to ensure continuous improvement of our ships and consistency across the fleet."

“Both Ventura and Arcadia underwent huge multi-million pound refits last year and Aurora is the next in line with Azura planned for 2015."

Aurora’s refit will take place between November 29 and December 18 2014 before she departs on her Christmas and New Year cruise and the South America & Pacific Adventure world cruise itinerary, departing January 8 2015. 

August, 2014