P&O’s history

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-12-2011

P&O cruises is steeped in history and was originally part of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Its first passenger ships set sail in the early 19th Century and are renowned as the world’s oldest cruise line. P&O cruises 2012 will operate on seven cruise ships in operation currently and this British-American company is based in Southampton at Carnival House.

The company can be charted back to 1822 when a London ship broker, Brodie McGhie Willcox and a Shetland Island sailor, Arthur Anderson came together to create the Peninsular & Orental Steam Navigation Company. Initially they ran shipping lines from England to the Iberian Peninsula and the later in 1837 started to run mail ships to the Peninsula also. Their first mail run hit rock on the home journey and the firm survived the disaster only because all the mail and item on board were safely rescued. Their business grew when they started to deliver mail to Egypt and the company merged with the Transatlantic Steamship Company.

The first passenger services began in 1844 and P&O began taking people on sea tours departing from Southampton to destinations such as Athens, Gibraltar and Malta. These were the first types of cruise holidays ever known and are responsible for P&O’s long standing reputation as a leading cruise line. Additional destinations were added such as Constantinople and Alexandria and P&O continued to expand.

The first cruise was advertised in 1904 on the ship Vectis which had been purpose built to carry 150 passengers of first class status. P&O’s fleet of ships continued to grow and survived both World Wars despite significant losses to their fleet in the WWII. Over the decades the shape of passenger ships changed becoming larger and faster. In the 1970’s P&O rebranded the passenger division and P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia were launched. Today P&O cruises in 2012 remain popular and bookings are now available.

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