MV Ventura

MV Ventura is a Grand-class cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet. The ship was built by Fincantieri at their shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. At 116,017 tonnes and 291.4 m (956 ft), Ventura is the second largest of seven ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. She officially entered service with the company in April 2008 and was named by Dame Helen Mirren.[5]Ventura underwent a refit at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, during March and April 2013, and re-entered service on 7 April 2013 with a voyage to Spain and Portugal.

Ventura in the Port of Lisbon, Portugal
Name: Ventura
Owner: Carnival plc
Operator: P&O Cruises
Port of registry: Hamilton, Bermuda
Builder: Fincantieri, Monfalcone Italy
Yard number: 6132
Laid down: 29 August 2006
Launched: 8 June 2007
Acquired: 31 March 2008
Maiden voyage: 18 April 2008
In service: April 2008
Status: Operational
Notes: [1][2][3][4]
General characteristics
Class and type: Grand class cruise ship
Type: passenger
  • 116,017 GT
  • 85,676 NT
  • 8.400 DWT
Length: 291.4 m (956 ft)
Beam: 36 m (118 ft)
Draught: 8 m (26 ft)
Depth: 36 m (118 ft)
Decks: 19 (14 passenger decks)
Deck clearance: 27.55 m (90.4 ft)
Propulsion: 6 × Wärtsilä diesel engines
Speed: 21.7 knots
  • 3,192 passengers
  • 3,597 berths
Notes: [2][4][5]


MS Ventura is owned by Carnival UK and operated by P&O Cruises. The ship entered service in April 2008, and is one of the largest cruise ships built for the British market, at 116,017 tonnes. Ventura can accommodate 3,192 passengers, and has 1,550 cabins, of which about 60% possess private balconies.[6] It has fourteen public decks, eight restaurants, six boutiques, five pools and three show lounges, including the largest theatre on a British ship. Passengers are able to walk to the bow, which is not possible on any other P&O ship except Azura.

The ship is intended to be family-friendly; facilities include The Reef youth club, and appearances by the children's character Noddy.[7] The ship includes outdoor children's play areas and two pools specifically for families.

After being handed over on 29 March, Ventura arrived in Southampton in the morning of 6 April 2008, ahead of its first mini cruise to Belgium on 11 April, and her Maiden voyage on 18 April.[1][8]

British actress Dame Helen Mirren officially christened Ventura and became the ship's "Godmother", prior to its maiden cruise to the Mediterranean Sea.[9] In a break with tradition, Dame Helen commanded a team of Royal Marine Commandos to assist her in naming Ventura in a dramatic abseil.[5]

Accidents and incidents

Passenger "rebellion"

During the Christmas 2008/New Year 2009 period in the Caribbean, there were reports of loutish behaviour on board, culminating in a rift between passengers who had paid the full fare and those who had not, described by the media as a passenger "rebellion"[10] As a result of the problems, two passengers were ejected from the ship and three scheduled ports of call were omitted from the itinerary.

Bay of Biscay damage

After experiencing bad weather on 18 October 2012 in the Bay of Biscay, Ventura suffered slight damage to the aluminium superstructure deck high up on the ship. Ventura underwent repairs in Southampton on 19 October 2012. P&O stated that this had no structural strength or safety implications. Some passengers were ordered not to use their balconies.[11]

Power failure

Shortly after leaving the southern tip of Tenerife, on 25 October 2014 at around 6.15pm, the Ventura experienced a fault with two of its six engines. As a result, power was lost. Once generators were working again and providing power to the ship, the engines restarted, around 40 minutes later. It then proceeded onwards, completing its further itinerary with no further issues. It was, however, reported by passengers that the same thing had happened on departure from Genoa, a week earlier.

Rescue Mission

On Wednesday 5 September 2018, Ventura was involved in a rescue mission off the coast of Gibraltar. Three men were rescued, when their jet ski had ran out of petrol and drifted 100 miles into the Mediterranean sea. All three men were rescued safely and stayed on the Ventura while the Spanish Coast Guard set forth to collect them.

Propulsion system failure

On Sunday 8 December 2019, Ventura suffered technical probables with her propulsion system. Tug assistance was called for and overnight Ventura was assisted back to the port of Santa Cruse, Tenerife. The work was completed on Thursday 12 December 2019 and Ventura returned to Southampton missing out on the scheduled stops of Lanzarote and Lisbon. A reduction of 50 % of the fares was promised to all passengers.

A total of 600 passengers elected to be flown back to the UK by charter aircraft on Thursday 12 September 2019.

During a presentation to passengers in the Arena Theatre on Monday 16 December 2019, Captain Andy Willard gave more details of the technical problems. On a scale of 1-10 he ranked this problem as '9'. He further explained that 5 tugs attended on 8 December 2019 two of which were 'pirate' tugs hoping for salvage rights. Parts to repair the propulsion problem were flown in from Los Angeles and Germany together with a team of technical specialists.

Ventura returned to Southampton on 17 December 2019, three days later than scheduled.


  1. "Ventura leaves on maiden voyage". BBC News. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  2. "Advanced Masterdata for the Vessel Ventura". VesselTracker. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  3. "Keel Laying for the Superliner Ventura" (Press release). Fincantieri. 29 August 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  4. Micke Asklander. "M/S Ventura (2008)". Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  5. "Ship statistics: Ventura". P&O Cruises. 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  6. Carnival to present new ship to P&O, South Florida Business Journal, 22 September 2005, accessed 2007-02-20
  7. Cut prices and upgrades lure us to more cruises, The Scotsman, accessed 2007-02-20
  8. Ventura handed over to P&O Cruises, Travelmole, accessed 2008-04-08
  9. "Marines help Dame Helen name ship". BBC News. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  10. "Caribbean cruise ends in rebellion", Telegraph, 11 Jan 2009. Accessed 17 Oct 2014
  11. Staff writers (19 October 2012). "P&O Cruises' Ventura to have crack repaired". TravelWeekly. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
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