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Happy days for culture vultures

14/07/2017

The joy of a cruise holiday is that there’s something for everyone on board and on shore. Whatever your mood, you'll find activities and shore excursions to enjoy the day your way.

Guests enjoying a wine tasting

Sampling a selection of our wines is a must for any culture vulture

Sea days are the perfect occasions to enjoy quality me-time. Of course, you can chill by the pool or relax in the spa. Or if you’re feeling active, hit the gym, take a dance class or have fun on the sports courts. But did you know there’s also a wealth of other more cultural pursuits to keep you entertained and stimulated?

 

Art lovers can take time to enjoy the artwork on display in Whitewall Galleries. The paintings, prints and sculptures have been curated carefully to appeal to both first-time buyers and those looking to expand their own art collections. The gallery represents a phenomenal portfolio of award-winning national and international fine artists such as Fabian Perez, Sherree Valentine Daines and Philip Gray, plus the most exceptional new talents including Samantha Ellis and Antonio Russo. All pieces come with certificates of valuation and authenticity, alongside an exclusive on-board discount of up to 10 per cent. You’ll find Whitewall Galleries on board Arcadia, Azura, Oceana and Ventura.

 

The on-board theatre is a hub of cultural activity. Across the fleet, the evening entertainment is not to be missed with top-quality productions by our Headliners Theatre Company. Guests on Adonia can also enjoy performances of popular plays. On every ship, the daytime programme is equally entertaining. Enjoy a wide range of guest speakers, such as presenter Caroline Hawley and author Gervase Phinn, talks by travel experts to introduce you to the next port of call and thought-provoking lectures by experts in their field covering a wide range of topics, from criminology to Greek mythology. If you want to enjoy further reading, the on-board library and shops are well stocked with travel and reference books, not to mention a wide range of bestsellers, great holiday reads and classics.

 

You can also attend jewellery, watch and spa seminars. Our jewellery experts give talks about the world’s most precious gemstones (all of which are stocked on board) – where they’re from, how they’re formed and their ever-increasing rarity, while watch experts explain the time-honoured traditional intricacies involved in watchmaking. Spa seminars, meanwhile, offer an insight into how your body works and how you can combat many common ailments.

The waterways of Venice

Why not head out on a shore excursion into vibrant towns rich in culture?

Gastronomes are in for a treat with a choice of fine dining experiences. At The Ocean Grill and Sindhu, for example, you’ll enjoy dishes that use the best-quality produce of sound provenance. An evening meal at The Epicurean epitomises fine dining with beautifully crafted and presented dishes, while Afternoon Tea at The Epicurean, devised by master pâitissier and Food Hero Eric Lanlard, is another treat for foodies. Eric’s playful creations are little artworks that look almost too good to eat. The Market Café offers a menu that takes its cue from our worldwide travels, from the spices of Latin America to the sunshine flavours of the Med. Add a refreshing, regional beer and you’ll feel like we’ve whisked you off to a tavern or street market. If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience you’ll find it in the Cookery Club, where you can create your very own culinary masterpieces under the guidance of the best chefs in the business.

 

Wine buffs will enjoy the great selection of world varieties in The Glass House, chosen personally by wine expert and Food Hero Olly Smith. We offer an extensive main wine list across our ships, and if you’d like to try something truly exceptional, look out for the Cellar Reserve Selection: we’ve secured reserves of 11 wines that are true expressions of their origins and represent some of the best wines in the world. If beer is more your thing, the diverse array of craft beers will whet your whistle – we have over 50 on Britannia and more than 20 now available across the fleet. Our extensive gin menu features 21 different varieties, including our very own blend, Anderson’s Gin – named after P&O co-founder Arthur Anderson, it incorporates 11 botanicals born from P&O Cruises historical routes. For in-depth experiences, wine, beer, whisky, rum and gin flights are available, with tasting notes as you savour the selection.

 

For globetrotters, anticipating the next port of call is all part of the fun. Use sea days to plan your shoreside activities with our team of destination experts. Port presentations provide a rich insight into the array of cultural attractions found in each port of call. Detailing iconic, much-loved and more unusual things to do, they'll help you build that all-important sightseeing ‘to-do’ list. Once you’re decided, the shore excursion team can help you tick them all off through the exciting selection of experiences they have at their fingertips in every single port you’ll visit – they’re even able to build you a bespoke excursion if your to-do list is utterly unique. And as it’s our destination experts that deal with all the details, you can really relax and totally immerse yourself in your adventures ashore.

 

You’ll not tire of the wonderful sights on your travels and will want to record them for posterity. If photography isn’t your strong suit – or if you want to brush up on your skills, such as using an SLR camera – look out for photography masterclasses to help you shoot with greater skill. And if you want to be in the picture, too, take advantage of the excellent PhotoWorks all-inclusive photography packages available on board. Our photography professionals will work with you to create a collection of images to take home and cherish. You can even use the ship as your backdrop on a personalised on-board 'on location' photo shoot.

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