P&O Princess Cruises

P&O Princess Cruises plc (stock symbol in London and NYSE: POC[1][2]) was a shipping company that existed between 2000 and 2003, operating the P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, A'Rosa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Ocean Village branded cruise lines. The company was formed from the de-merged passenger services of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) and operated until 2003 when it was re-listed as Carnival plc following a merger with Carnival Corporation. Its registered office was in the City of Westminster, London.

P&O Princess Cruises plc
FateMerged with Carnival Corporation, 2003
SuccessorCarnival Corporation & plc


P&O Princess Cruises originated from the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), founded in England in 1837.[3] In 1844, the company began operating passenger services which were the forerunner of modern cruise holidays, and as such it became recognised as the world's oldest cruise line.

In 1974, P&O acquired Princess Cruises, a North American cruise line founded in 1964 by Stanley McDonald.[4] In 1977, P&O de-merged its passenger services division to form P&O Cruises.[5] In 1988, P&O de-merged P&O Cruises' Australian operations, acquiring Sitmar Cruises,[6] which led to the formation of P&O Cruises Australia.[7]

In 1999, P&O acquired the Germany cruise line, AIDA Cruises.[8] In 2000, P&O de-merged its cruise ship operations, forming a new company, P&O Princess Cruises Ltd.[3] The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange, making it completely independent of the P&O Group. The company operated the P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands.

In 2001, talks were held with Royal Caribbean and Festival Cruises to discuss a possible merger. Also in 2001, P&O Princess Cruises launched the A'Rosa Cruises brand. In 2003, P&O Princess Cruises merged with Carnival Corporation to form Carnival Corporation & plc.[9] As a result of the merger, P&O Princess Cruises plc was re-listed as Carnival plc, becoming the UK holding company of the Carnival Group. As Carnival plc, the company largely retained the P&O Princess executive team and shareholder body, with executive control of the group's activities in the UK and Australia.

Head office

The P&O Princess head office was in City of Westminster, London.[10] After P&O accepted a takeover from Carnival Corporation in 2003, the company planned to close the P&O head office in London. P&O Princess offered the 25 employees there a relocation to the P&O Cruises offices in Southampton or dismissal from the company.[11]

Ship ownership

During its brief existence, P&O Princess Cruises owned a number of cruise ships:


The company formerly known as P&O Princess continues to operate as a constituent of the Carnival Group, with executive control of the group's operations in the United Kingdom and Australia. Based at Carnival House in Southampton, Carnival plc provides executive control of P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Cunard Line and Ocean Village. with additional responsibility for the UK sales and marketing of Princess Cruises.


  1. "P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC)." Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 19 September 2011.
  2. "About Princess." Princess Cruises. 1 June 2002. Retrieved on 19 September 2011.
  3. Oliver, Mark; agencies (29 November 2005). "Profile: P&O". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  4. "Stanley McDonald, Princess Cruises founder, dies at 94". The Seattle Times. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  5. "From Liners to Leisure". P&O Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  6. Goossens, Reuben. "From Birth to Breakers". SS Maritime. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  7. "History of Our Fleet". P&O Cruises Australia. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  8. The AIDA Experience
  9. EC Clears Carnival and P&O Princess Merge Marinelink, 11 February 2003
  10. "Contact." P&O Princess Cruises. 5 June 2002. Retrieved on 19 September 2011. "P&O Princess Cruises plc Registered office: 77 New Oxford Street London WC1A 1PP UK"
  11. Macalister, Terry. "Carnival 'yes' brings £1m bonus." The Guardian. Wednesday 16 April 2003. Retrieved on 19 September 2011.
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