The New P & O Ship Looks Familiar

| Monday, 08 Oct. 2012

A rendering of the new P & O ship set to debut in 2015

News is out today that the Fincantieri shipyard at Montfalcone is just beginning to cut the steel for wjhat will eventually become the largest ship ever built for the U.K.-based cruise line P & O Cruises. Now it is important to take note that P & O was at one time the parent company for Princess Cruise Line. This was before Carnival Corp acquired P & O in one of the largest acquisitions of a cruise line in history.

What is not being said about the new ship for P & O is that it is most likely an identical floor plan to the new ships currently under construction for sister company Princess Cruise Line; including the new Royal Princess and her sister ship the Regal Princess set to debut in June of 2013 and June of 2014.

Why do I say that? It is no secret that Carnival likes to make duplicate ships for various cruise lines, especially when they hit upon a floor plan they particularly like. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it makes all the sense in the world when it comes to the savings they get in not having to design a brand new cruise ship from the keel up.

In fact, all they have to worry about is the interior décor, especially for the public rooms, but for the most part the staterooms and the locations of all of the public rooms will be almost identical even across different brands.

For example, if you look at the floor plans for most of the Costa ships as well as the Carnival ships then you are certain to notice that all of the Costa ships have Carnival doppelgangers; whether you are looking at the smaller ships or the larger ones, in almost every case you will find a pair of ships of the exact same tonnage (size), dimensions and passenger capacity where one belongs to Carnival and the other to Costa.

Are you looking forward to the new Princess or P & O ships? Tell us here: All Things Cruising

One particular floor plan is so popular with Carnival Corp that they have used it to build ships for Cunard, Costa, Holland America and Carnival. This is the Vista class of ships. You will see the same basic configuration of public rooms and stateroom layout across these ships:

  • Cunard Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth
  • Holland America's Westerdam, Noordam, Oosterdam and Zuiderdam.
  • Carnival Spirit, Miracle and Pride
  • Costa's Deliziosa and Luminosa

Royal Princess Design

So, it comes as no surprise that the brand new and highly anticipated Royal and Regal Princess cruise ships coming in 2013 and 2014 are exactly 141,000 tons and will each carry about 3600 passengers. At the same time, so will the new P & O cruise ship, yet to be named, be 141,000-tons and carry about 3600 passengers.

The profile is different, however. The rendering for the P & O ship shows two smoke stacks while the Princess sisters on have one. In addition, the new Princess ships will have one the most highly anticipated attraction; the "skywalks" that allow people on the some of the highest decks to stroll out over the edge of the ship in a compleyely transparent walkway that will have nothing but the ocean over 100 feet below. But do not be surprised if you walk in to the new P & O ship and discover a very similar layout, like an expanded atrium with a lively atmosphere based upon indoor sidewalk-style seating around a rotunda-like center of the ship most likely featuring a gelateria and specialty coffee house.

The new P & O ship will arrive in the spring of 2015. Right now the cost is estimated to be about 500-million Euro (about $700-million). The interior designer for the ship is different from the firm designing the interior for the Princess ships, however (which has been the case for many of the Vista-class ships, with the exception of the Carnival and Costa ships which are identical for the most part). The P & O ship will have an interior design by the British firm of Richmond International.

This new ship will be the largest cruise ship ever built exclusively for the British market andRichmond Design is boasting that its new design will "enhance the P & O brand essence, incorporating their classic and iconic history with modern design and features which reflect the aspirations of their existing passengers along with attracting a new generation of passengers.

"Richmond will create designs for the interiors of all the public areas of the ship (including passenger cabin types, restaurants and entertainment areas) to produce a new standard for P&O Cruises and to deliver the ultimate P&O Cruises experience."

The Princess ships will be designed by Princess Cruise Line's in-house design team, vice President of Interior Design Teresa Anderson and Coordinating Architect Giacomo Mortola.

Are you looking forward to the new Princess or P & O ships? Tell us here: All Things Cruising

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