Our story began in 1837 when the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company was awarded the British Government contract for a weekly mail service to the Iberian Peninsula.
In celebration of this exciting anniversary, all seven ships of the P&O Cruises fleet will be together in their home port of Southampton on the same day, 3rd July 2012. This will be a first in the history of the company and we are delighted that Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, is joining us for what promises to be a grand event. The ships with their gleaming white hulls and signature "buff" funnels will be alongside at seven different points in the port of Southampton.
Leaving their berths on this historic day, the ship's passengers and crew will enjoy a champagne deck party as the flutterfetti flies; the marching band plays and the ships sail past in a procession from Southampton Water out into the Solent. Out in the open water the ships will meet again, saluting one another before they sail onwards to their various exciting destinations.
We have taken a series of images from both sides of Southampton water to create ultra high resolution 150 Megapixel images of our departing fleet on Grand Event day.
Take a look at the images where you'll be able to zoom in and maybe spot familiar faces!
Today P&O Cruises operate a fleet of seven impressive ships and sails all around the globe to myriad destinations. But where did it all start? As the company prepares to celebrate 175 years of heritage, we peel back the years to the very beginning; to the passage of a simple wooden steam paddler and a man with a vision.