P&O Cruises launches 3D augmented reality campaign for new ship Iona

Image result for P&O Iona

P&O Cruises has launched an augmented reality campaign to promote its latest new ship, Iona, in what it claims is a cruise industry first.

The campaign aims to bring to life the ship’s onboard experiences in interactive 3D ahead of its completion and launch in 18 months time.

Powered by augmented reality pioneer, Blippar, the campaign was created to allow travel agents and consumers to experience Iona.

Christopher Edgington, P&O Cruises vice president marketing, said: “Iona’s scale and breadth of experiences will offer holidays like never before and this demands marketing like never before.

“With Iona going on sale two years before its launch, we realised that we needed to create new and innovative ways to reach and engage both existing and potential guests. The obvious solution to this was our first ever augmented reality campaign.”

The initial 3D renders for Iona were produced by content agency Sunday from which the augmented reality experiences were crafted by creative agency Founded with technology from Blippar.

Almost 300,000 pieces of direct mail have been sent to travel agents and past guests with details of how to download the Blippar app, which will provide them with the ability to experience Iona in augmented reality.

Once the Blippar app is opened and a phone is held over the image of Iona, the ship will come to life and may be explored from bow to stern.

Included in the AR are images of the SkyDome, a large glass domed entertainment and relaxation area on the top deck, cabins and the Grand Atrium.

As more Iona images and designs become available, new augmented reality experiences will be added. Anyone ‘blipping’ the ship before November 1 will have a chance to win a one-week cruise on Iona.

Edgington continued: “A week after launch we have beaten our targets for a number of blips and dwell time which proves that interactive marketing and the ability to get a much more intimate and inspiring view of the ship is a hit with our guests.”

P&O Cruises Ventura completes two-week docking at Damen Shiprepair Brest

The P&O Cruises Grand-class cruise ship Ventura has just completed a two-week docking at Damen Shiprepair Brest. Launched in 2008, this was the first visit of the 290-metre, 116,000 DWT vessel to the yard, where she underwent a regular docking together with a range of maintenance works.

Major features of the maintenance programme included the installation of two exhaust gas scrubbers, for which Damen Shiprepair Brest (DSBr) designed, manufactured and installed a sea chest. While the Ventura was in DSBr’s Drydock number 3, at 420m by 80m the largest of DSBr’s three dry docks, the hull was ultra-high-pressure water blasted and then, along with the superstructure, repainted. Additional works included maintenance of the propulsion systems and stabilisers, plus other minor repairs.

As with all cruise ship dockings, completing the works within the scheduled period was absolutely critical with the Ventura due to depart Southampton on 28 March on a 12-day cruise to the Canary Islands and Lisbon. The logistics were particularly challenging, with a wide range of subcontractors needing access to the vessel both inside and out, and hundreds of containers, trucks and garbage skip to be positioned around the dock and manoeuvred as necessary during the two-week period. As always, meticulous planning and exact specification of all the different tasks to be undertaken took place in the months before her arrival. That, plus excellent organisation while she was in the yard, was the key to success. In the event, the Ventura departed DSBr on 26 March with all works completed and in top shape for her 3,574 passengers and 1,220 crew.

Related image

“This is the first time that we have welcomed a vessel owned by Carnival plc (which operates the P&O Cruises brand),” said Patrick Renavot, Managing Director Damen Shiprepair Brest, “and we were delighted that the project was a success. All planned work was finished on time and the vessel returned to its busy schedule on schedule.

“As cruise ships expand in terms of both numbers and size, we hope to see our general activity in this sector grow. With two dry docks of 420-metres and 338-metres respectively plus a convenient and easily-accessed location for cruise ships entering and leaving the Atlantic, DSBr has much to offer owners and operators looking for yards capable of meeting their specific needs.”

In recent years, the yard has made substantial investments in its facilities including an enhanced black and grey water disposal capability and a new fire and cooling water supply system. The yard also features ample owners’ storage, extensive laydown areas and spacious temporary workshops for subcontractors. There is even an adjacent container terminal. The yard has a constructive relationship with the local authorities and, with a culture at the yard based on maximising safety and cooperation, customers can rely on a committed, efficient service at every level.

A Refit for Ventura

Image result for ventura cruise ship
P&O Ventura in the Union Flag livery.

There’s always something happening on Ventura. The family-friendly ship entered service in 2008 and is one of the largest ships in the P&O Cruises fleet, with space for over 3,000 guests. And with 12 places to dine, 11 places to socialise (including four-deck bars) a lavish two-tier theatre and much more, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to onboard fun.

In March 2018, Ventura will head to a shipyard in Brest, France for a refit. We’ll be making a number of improvements on board and bringing her in line with the other ships in the fleet. Keep an eye out for refurbished shops stocked with new brands, a new LED screen in the theatre, and new carpeting in the rooms and suites and in a number of the public areas.

Upon returning from her refit, Ventura will embark on a 12-night cruise to the Canary Islands and Portugal. For the rest of the year, she’ll remain based in Southampton and take guests on Short Breaks to Belgium and Guernsey, adventures in the Norwegian Fjords and sunny holidays to the likes of Spain, Portugal, Greece and France.

We can’t wait to welcome Ventura back to the fleet, and we hope you’ll join us soon for more fun-filled holidays.



Whether you prefer the classic stylings of the two-tier Arena theatre, the opulent setting of the Tamarind Club or the Cuban vibe in Havana lounge, Ventura’s onboard entertainment venues offers something for everyone. To make your nights out that much more special, we’ll be upgrading the Arena theatre with a brand new LED wall installation, similar to the ones found on Britannia and Azura. We’ll also be making updates to the sound and lighting desk.



Shopping is a popular pastime on any holiday, and whether you’re treating yourself to a luxurious new watch, handbag or fragrance or stocking up on travel essentials, our onboard shops are the perfect place to do it. We’re pleased to announce that Dufry, the world’s leading travel retailer, will be our new retail partner on Ventura.The ship’s shops will undergo a complete upgrade, and new brands such as Brics, Longines, Olivia Burton and Liu Jo will sit alongside popular brands such as Radley, Cath Kidston and Kipling. A range of British gins will also be available. Further changes include a large glass display window added to the shops on deck 7.

 Image result for p&o ventura shops

Waterside and The Beach House

Ventura does laid-back dining right. As part of the refit, both Waterside (the ship’s 24-hour buffet) and The Beach House (the fun and informal Select Dining restaurant)will enjoy a spruce-up. Floors will be given new tiling in the main walkway area and a new carpet design and new furniture will be incorporated.



The refit will see Ventura refreshed with new carpeting in a number of areas. In addition to all suites and cabins, the carpeting will also be replaced in a number of public areas: the Atrium; Oasis Spa & Salon; restaurants including Saffron, Waterside, The Glass House and The Beach House; and bars such as The Red Barand Havana lounge.


Dixons Travel Store

Dixons Travel, located on deck 7 by the photo gallery, sells the latest technology, from tablets to headphones to binoculars. As part of the refit, the Dixons Travel store will increase in size and a range of new products – including the Dyson supersonic hairdryer and the latest technology from brands such as Amazon, Apple, Bose, Canon, Fitbit, GoPro and more – will be available. Additionally, new carpeting will be introduced, and the Photo Now the digital screen will be moved to the ship’s aft.