The famous shipping line P & O sailed into history yesterday by taking its seven cruise ships out to sea in a fabulous flotilla from Southampton.
The spectacular move, uniting the Adonia, Aurora, Arcadia, Azura, Oceana, Oriana, and Ventura liners for the first time, was to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the company.
Thousands of people lined the seafront to watch the gleaming white hulls and signature ‘buff’ funnels berthed at seven different points in the port, before cheering as the ships set sail out onto the Solent.
Thomas Cook first began cruise excursions and shipping passengers on their cheap holidays to Italy and Austria in 1846. In the following decades, the travel giant became the official agents of many of the steamship companies including the Penisular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, better known as P&O Cruises.
In the old days, travel by ship had its own special code. If you were hoping to take a trip on a P & O steamer, the company used the instruction “Addict” to book men’s berth and “Adder” for women. If Thomas Cook replied “Gaiter,” it meant the booking had been completed.*
Still On Board
Today, if you book a P&O Cruise with Thomas Cook, you can discover an extraordinary new world of ever-changing shores. Offering great value holidays at sea on a range of destinations from holidays in Turkey to a romantic getaway on a holiday to Majorca and other Mediterranean islands.
But as well as the new dynamic facilities, you can still experience P&O Cruises’ 175 years of fantastic traditions during your onboard adventure.
A Quick Guide to the Seven Super Ships:
P & O Adonia - Bijoux, compact, petite; the Adonia is a pretty little thing that delivers a lot of luxury facilities for her small stature.
P & O Arcadia is stylish and indulgent, with unique features such as glass fronted lifts and a Gary Rhodes restaurant.
P & O Aurora is cosmopolitan and refined, blending modern comforts with classic elements.
Azura – New to the fleet in 2010, the ship where the extraordinary can be discovered every day.
Oceana – Lively and glamorous with freedom dining makes this ship ideal for first timers and families.
Oriana’s Art Deco touches and teak decks epitomise the romance of cruising.
Ventura – Family-friendly, inspirational and innovative, the Ventura exudes a fun yet sophisticated atmosphere.
*Data from “The Golden Age of Travel – The Romantic years of Tourism in Images from the Thomas Cook Archives” by Andrew Williamson
*Featured Image: P&O Cruises Anniversary Logo from pocruises.com