As one of the elder statesmen of cruise travel, P&O has a fleet which very much reflects the evolution of the industry in recent years. The Oriana was state of the art when it was launched in 1995 but is now the oldest ship in a fleet which has steadily evolved over the past twenty years as the line has worked hard to stay current as tastes have changed. The current jewels in the crown are the recently launched Britannia, a celebration of Britishness and an example of the kind of cutting edge cruise ship design which P&O has long pioneered, and the much-heralded Iona which is scheduled to launch in 2020.
P&O markets itself to a wide cross-section of potential customers, but with a pricing structure that tends towards the more premium end of the market. There is a fair bit of variation across different itineraries and different ships, but on the whole this isn't the place to look for a budget option.
In much the same way as P&O does a good job in blending the traditional with the modern, so too does it achieve a good balance between providing a sophisticated and peaceful environment for its adult guests whilst also catering to the requirements of younger families (except on Adonia, Arcadia and Oriana which are designated as adult only ships).
P&O is justifiably very proud of its heritage and has gone to great lengths to protect the values that have underpinned its success. At heart therefore it is one of the most traditional lines, but with the launch of each new ship have come a raft of new innovations which have helped the line achieve a uniquely progressive approach.
P&O is not a line that demands excess formality for the sake of it, but nevertheless has maintained a degree of sophistication around some of its dining and entertainment options and on certain nights guests are requested to observe a more formal dress code when dining in the main restaurants.