Friday, 26 September 2014

Cruise control

Two new cruise ships will be launched next year, each with state-of-the-art attractions

Written by Wendy Gomersall
Cruise lovers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of two brand new ships next year – Britannia from P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem Of The Seas.

Britannia, the biggest ship built for the British cruise market, sets sail on its maiden voyage from Southampton to the Mediterranean on 14 March next year. In her first season, her schedule will also include visits to the Norwegian …fjords, the Canary Islands and the Baltic Sea, as well as short breaks and a round-Britain cruise. She will then transfer to the Caribbean for the winter season, sailing a number of 15-night ˆfly/cruises from Barbados.

Special features of the 141,000-ton vessel will include The Cookery Club, a state-of-the-art cookery school developed with the aid of chef James Martin. Martin will be on board for an 11-night cruise to Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar departing Southampton on 14 September 2015, costing from £1,049 per person (sharing).

P&O Cruises has associations with several other food-and-drink favourites, and Britannia will also boast a three-tier atrium with an Eric Lanlard patisserie, a charcuterie and a gelateria, Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu restaurant, Olly Smith’s The Glass House and gala dinner menus created by Marco Pierre White.

The ship will also feature The Limelight Club, a combined entertainment and dining venue in the great tradition of the supper club. Meanwhile, the Oasis Spa, run by Steiner, will have 17 private spa rooms and, new to P&O Cruises ships, an Oasis Villa for private pampering.

If you’ve never tried a cruise before and would like a ‘taster’ before committing to a longer holiday, P&O Cruises is ožffering a two-night cruise break to St Peter Port, Guernsey, on Britannia, departing from Southampton on 12 September 2015, which costs from £319 per person (sharing). Or there’s a classic seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, which takes in Bergen, Olden, Flaam and Stavanger, from £729 per person (sharing), departing on 27 June 2015.

0843-374 0111, or visit your local travel agent.


Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean International is highlighting the hi-tech gizmos on its new ship Anthem Of The Seas, which makes its debut in Southampton next April.

Travel-Sept26-02-590Quantum Of The Seas, sister ship of Anthem Of The Seas

Like its sister ship Quantum Of The Seas, Anthem Of The Seas will feature all manner of mind-boggling technology, from luggage-tracking and the fastest internet at sea to the Bionic Bar, the world’s ƒ rst bar with robotic bartenders. Guests can order a drink via tablet computer, then watch as the mechanical limbs at the bar do the mixing.

Among the other perks are hi-tech digital wristbands, which you can tap to quickly navigate the ship and make on-board purchases. They even serve as the room key.

Additional cutting-edge attractions include SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea, with bumper cars, roller skating and more. Sounds jolly fun.

A 13-night Sunshine In The Canaries cruise aboard Anthem Of The Seas, departing from Southampton on 11 October 2015, costs from £1,579 per person. Ports of call include Vigo, Madeira, Tenerife, Lisbon and Bilbao.

0844-493 4005,

Contact Wendy at

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