P&O Cruises confirms order for second new ship

Image result for p&o cruises new ship 2020

A second large next-generation cruise ship for P&O Cruises was confirmed tonight as the line seeks to attract more first time cruisers.

The vessel will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and is due to join the fleet in 2022 – two years after a similar sister ship enters service.

The latest order will be 180,000 gross tons and have a capacity of 5,200 passengers.

Both new ships will be registered in the UK and built by leading German shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg.

The ship will feature the Carnival Corporation’s exclusive “green cruising” design as one of the first generation of cruise ships to be powered by both while in port and at sea.

This will “significantly reduce” air emissions with the shipping industry’s most advanced fuel technology, the company claims.

The new ship is part of a fleet enhancement strategy with 19 new vessels set for delivery across Carnival Corporation brands between 2018 and 2022.

Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein said: “We are seeing the momentum in awareness of cruising both across the media and in our national psyche as ever-increasing numbers of people see first-hand the value for money, unrivalled service and extraordinary onboard experience.

“These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth.”

P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow added: “We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet.

“The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.

“In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22% capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers.

“Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing onboard and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for, while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers.

“This evolution of the guest experience will be evident over the next few years but will be underpinned throughout with in-depth market insight and feedback we receive from the best source: our current, past and prospective guests.

“The first of our new ships will go on sale in September and we will be announcing key elements of the design and build this year.

“Our P&O Cruises signature features in dining and entertainment will be across all our ships, but the space and build of the two new ships allow us to have innovative new experiences to create the most memorable holidays.”

Thomas Weigend, managing director of Meyer Werft, said: “We are very happy to continue our excellent partnership with Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises.”

Carnival Corporation chief backs UK trade push

The chief executive of Carnival Corporation has backed his UK team to develop relations with the trade, but urged agents to speak out if they were unhappy with the cruise giant’s strategy.

Speaking at the 10th annual Clia conference in Southampton, Arnold Donald said he had “every confidence” in the Carnival UK team, who he said would “talk to the trade, listen and learn”.

His comments came after Carnival UK’s vice president for sales Alex White vowed to have “agents at the heart” of the P&O Cruises and Cunard business in the future, following a mixed history with the trade which included a swathe of commission cuts in 2011.

Donald said: “We have increased our team by 30% under the leadership of Alex White, we have our Cunard and P&O Cruises Partnership Team that we’ve implemented and we have our training academy which we are refining and revamping.

“You (the trade) told us that we were on the right track and we absolutely want to keep listening and figuring out how we can continue enhancing.

“I have every confidence in David Noyes, who leads Carnival UK, and Alex and his expanded team to make sure we have enough people contact (with the trade) and make sure we’re talking to you and listening and learning so we can deliver what you need to build your business and in turn build our business and I think we’re on the track.

“You tell us, and if we’re not we’ll correct it and make sure we get on the right track.”

Southampton’s QEII cruise terminal set for £5m upgrade

A £5 million revamp of Southampton port’s QEII cruise terminal will begin this winter.

ABP Port of Southampton and Carnival UK are jointly funding the improvements.

The work is being carried out over two phases in 2015/16 and will include a ship-to-shore walkway to replace the existing one, which was initially installed for Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

This will ensure a greater range of ships can use the terminal with new technology, improving passenger flow and experience.

The terminal upgrade will also include improvements to the existing check in, baggage and passenger X-ray areas, installing a new 46-person lift and re-organising the passenger drop-off area.

The first phase of the work is due to be completed in spring 2016. The second phase, which includes the installation of the new walkway, will be finalised in winter 2016.

ABP Southampton director, Nick Ridehalgh (pictured), said: “The number of cruise passengers coming through Southampton’s port continues to rise, with 1.75 million expected to pass through this year.

“It’s therefore vital that we ensure our facilities are in the very best shape to accommodate these passengers and that they are laid out in a way that gives people a seamless and stress-free start to their holidays.”

Carnival UK port services and government affairs director, Steven Young, said: “We are delighted that these works, following on from recent improvements to both the Ocean and Mayflower cruise terminals, will give our guests a consistent and improved experience regardless of the terminal at which they join or leave the ship.

“As well as Cunard and P&O Cruises other Carnival brands including Princess, Holland America and Aida will benefit.”