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. Aurora and Arcadia were state of the art when they launched in 2000 and 2005 but are now the oldest ships 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 jewel in the crown is the newly launched Iona, a celebration of Britishness and an example of the kind of cutting edge cruise ship design which P&O has long pioneered.
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. That is made possible by high demand from UK travellers, particularly for the newer ships, and P&O typically has the majority of its fleet based in Southampton over the summer months.
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 Arcadia and Aurora 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.