MV Britannia (2015)

MV Britannia is a cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet. She was built by Fincantieri at its shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.[2]

Britannia at Southampton 6 March 2015
United Kingdom
Name: Britannia
Owner: Carnival Corporation & plc
Operator: P&O Cruises
Port of registry: Southampton, U.K.
Ordered: 2011
Builder: Fincantieri, Monfalcone, Italy
Cost: £473 million
Yard number: 6231
Laid down: 15 May 2013
Launched: 14 February 2014
Christened: 10 March 2015 by Queen Elizabeth II
Completed: 26 February 2015
Maiden voyage: 14 March 2015
In service: 14 March 2015
Identification: Call sign: 2HHG5
IMO number: 9614036
MMSI number: 235106595
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Royal-class cruise ship
Tonnage: 143,730 GT[1]
Length: 330 m (1,083 ft)
Beam: 44 m (144 ft)
Height: 70.67 m (232 ft)
Draft: 8.3 m
Decks: 15 passenger decks
Installed power: Total shaft power 36 000 kW.
Propulsion: Wärtsilä 12V46F x 2 & Wärtsilä 14V46F x 2 & propulsion electric motors - 2 x VEM Sachsenwerk GMBH
Speed: 21.9 kn (40.6 km/h; 25.2 mph) @ 136 rev/min
Capacity: 3,647 passengers
Crew: 1,398 officers and crew

At 143,000 GT, Britannia is the largest of six ships currently in service with P&O Cruises and she is also the flagship of the fleet, taking the honour from Oriana. She officially entered service on 14 March 2015,[3] and was named by Queen Elizabeth II. Her first captain was Paul Brown.

Britannia features a 94 metres (308 ft) Union Flag on her bow, the largest of its kind in the world.[4]

Naming and construction

Britannia was ordered in 2011 and was laid down on 15 May 2013.[5] The ship was built at the Fincantieri yard at Monfalcone in Italy.

The name Britannia was announced on 24 September 2013 and has historical importance for P&O, as there have been two previous ships named Britannia connected with the company. The first entered service in 1835 for the General Steam Navigation Company, which went on to become the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company. The second, which entered service in 1887, was one of four ships ordered by the company to mark the golden jubilee of both Queen Victoria and P&O itself.

The ceremonial float out of the third Britannia took place on the afternoon of 14 February 2014, with the traditional champagne bottle smashed against the vessel's hull.

Britannia departed the Fincantieri ship yard on 27 February 2015 for Southampton via Gibraltar. Britannia was officially named on 10 March 2015 by Queen Elizabeth II at the Ocean Terminal.


On board, Britannia features 13 bars as well as 13 restaurants and cafés.[6]

TV chef James Martin developed "The Cookery Club" on board Britannia. The venue features celebrity chefs/cooks such as Mary Berry, James Tanner, Antonio Carluccio, Paul Rankin and Pierre Koffman. Eric Lanlard has his own patisserie, Market Café, in the ship's atrium. He also created an upgraded afternoon tea service in the Epicurean restaurant. Atul Kochhar, of the Michelin-starred Benares restaurant in London, supervises menus in Sindhu (as also seen on fleetmates Ventura and Azura). Marco Pierre White creates menu items served in the main restaurants on gala nights.[7] The ship has a 936-seat theatre.[8]

Britannia has a total of 1,837 cabins with 27 of those being single cabins (inside and balcony), in addition to conventional inside and balcony cabins; 64 of the cabins are designated as suites. For the first time on a P&O Cruises ship, all outside cabins have balconies.

Britannia has four pools including a dedicated pool for teenagers, and the Oasis Spa.

Maiden voyage and itineraries

Britannia's maiden voyage took place 14–28 March 2015, and included visits to Spain, Italy and France.

During her summer season, Britannia sails to the Mediterranean, Norwegian fjords, the Baltic, Canary Islands and Atlantic Islands. In winter, the ship operates 14-night Caribbean itineraries.

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway was recorded and shown live on board as the final show of the 13th series, on 2 April 2016.

Similar ships

In 2013 Princess Cruises began operating the lead vessel in its Royal Class, Royal Princess.[9] Britannia is built to the same template, but is very different in its character and exterior appearance.[10] The second ship of the Royal Class, Regal Princess, was delivered 11 May 2014 to Princess Cruises. The latest Royal Class ship, Majestic Princess, entered service 30 March 2017.


  1. "Britannia (9614036)". LR Class Direct. Lloyd's Register. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  2. "Italy: Keel Laid for P&O Cruises' 141,000-Ton Cruise Ship". World Maritime News. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  3. "Britannia Cruise Ship | P&O Cruises". P&O Cruises. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  4. "P&O Cruises Unveils New Look". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  5. "P&O Cruises New Ship, 2015". P&O Cruises. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  6. "P&O Britannia: Britain's newest and biggest cruise ship". Telegraph Travel. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  8. "P&O Cruises Reveals New Ship Interiors, Maiden Voyages, Celebrity Chefs". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  9. "UK: Duchess of Cambridge Christens New Ship 'Royal Princess'". World Maritime News. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  10. Macmillan, Sally (26 March 2015). "P&O's new Britannia cruise ship: continuing a great British maritime tradition". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
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