How to plan your holiday

First time cruiser? Choose your destination itinerary, ship and cabin, and we’ll do the rest.

First time cruise tips

With so many variables when it comes to itineraries and ships, it can all be a bit overwhelming when picking your first cruise holiday. Not sure where to start? To help find the right cruise for you, we’ve listed the main factors to consider.

 

Time of year

You might have a specific date in mind for going away – like the summer holidays or half-term – so a good starting point is to search for cruises available on your desired dates. If you’re going abroad for a specific event, or if you’re seeking a natural phenomenon like the Northern Lights or Midnight Sun in Norway, you’ll be looking at going abroad at a specific time of the year.

If you’ve always wanted to go somewhere in particular but find that the price of the cruise is just a bit out of your range, then search for the same cruise at a different time of year – you might find it’s a fair bit cheaper. 

 

Weather

Much like a non-cruise holiday, you’ll want to think about things like your preferred weather. While some regions follow a four seasons cycle, others offer nearly constant warmth and sunny skies.

If you're flexible with weather conditions, you can pick up some great deals during the less popular times of year such as winter. And not only that, because most people don’t want to travel during these months, you can explore your bucket-list destinations when they’re a little quieter. So, if you don’t need endless sunshine and want to avoid the crowds, autumn and winter won’t just be the cheapest seasons, they could even be the best time for you to travel. 

 

Budget

The good news is that as your entertainment, accommodation, meals, flights and transfers are all included in your holiday price, a cruise offers exceptional value for money – especially when you compare this to a land-based holiday.

Although you can have an incredible time without spending anything beyond your holiday price, extra cost things to consider include: shore experiences, dining in speciality restaurants, buying souvenirs at your destinations, spa treatments and drinks packages.

Our Early Saver prices, available on selected holidays offer great value when you book your holiday early.

How do I choose a cruise destination?

All of our cruise holidays can be as exciting or relaxed as you like. We have hand-picked destinations to suit different types of travellers to help you choose the right cruise to suit you. We offer a huge range, with something for everyone.

Relaxed beach holidays

Looking to relax and unwind? Our top destinations for the ultimate relaxed beach holiday include the Caribbean and Canary Islands.

Historical towns

Do you enjoy exploring old towns and historical landmarks? Destinations we recommend for explorers are the Norwegian Fjords, the Scandinavia and Baltic Sea, Western Europe, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Winter sun

What better time to get some much needed sunshine? Our top picks for winter sun cruise holidays include Spain & Portugal, Canary Islands and the Caribbean.

Action-packed

All of our cruises can be as action-packed as you'd like with a variety of shore excursions at your finger tips. Destinaitons we recommend for adventure seekers are the Norwegian Fjords, Norway and Iceland, and Mediterranean.

Nature lovers

Experience the wonders of nature. Be at one with nature and visit destinations such as the Norwegian Fjords and the Caribbean.

Where would you like to go?

Which area of the world do you want to explore and what do you want to see when you get there? Once you have chosen your preferred region, then look for a cruise itinerary that ticks your boxes.

Find the right cruise ship for you

Family friendly or exclusively for adults, larger or a little more modest - we've a ship for every occasion and style. Across our fleet of seven magnificent ships, you’ll be treated to the same P&O Cruises experience, but each one comes with its own unique allure and features.

Family friendly

Arvia

Our new ship Arvia will join the fleet in December 2022. With more freedom, greater choice, sunny vibes and spectacular views, get ready to see the world in widescreen.

Family friendly

Iona

Our greenest, largest and most innovative ship yet. Iona has a host of unique features including an on-board craft gin distillery and an Infinity Pool with breathtaking panoramas.

Family friendly

Britannia

Inspired by our past. Designed for the future. There has never been a more stylish way to see the world! Your moments on board Britannia are sure to be truly memorable.

Exclusively for adults

Arcadia

Arcadia combines the chic with the classic, a relaxed pace, and more than a hint of extravagance. A mid-sized ship with a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, and an array of features designed for pampering and indulgence.

Exclusively for adults

Aurora

Mid-sized Aurora is a world-class ship, bringing you the joys of classic cruise travel with a slightly more intimate feel. With a retractable roof over her inviting Crystal pool, you’ll enjoy stylish surrounds whatever the weather.

Family friendly

Azura

Azura is one of the largest cruise ships in the P&O Cruises fleet. Azura offers an incredible choice of bars, restaurants, sports and spa facilities, entertainment, plus lots of other exciting and unique features.

Family friendly

Ventura

There’s always something happening on Ventura, enjoy delicious fine dining, a tranquil spa, many quiet spaces to unwind, great sports facilities and four pools.

Which cruise ship is right for you?

To help you decide on which ship would suit your preferences, you may find this summary table that compares and contrasts our ships helps you make up your mind.

Choosing your cruise cabin

We understand a cabin is a crucial part of the cruise experience. So, all our cabins offer luxury accommodation and deliver a new skyline every morning of your holiday – just one of the daily joys of a cruise holiday.

Suites

Delight in VIP treatment throughout your holiday with butler service, spacious accommodation, a superior bathroom with full-size whirlpool bath*, inclusive room service, breakfast each day in an exclusive restaurant plus all the luxuries included. Available across the fleet. Mini-suites are also available on Arcadia and Aurora.

Conservatory Mini-suites

A brand new innovation for Arvia and Iona; these cabins let the great outdoors in via an additional lounging area with floor-to-ceiling glass (and an external door) between the main cabin area and your balcony. Relax inside or out in complete comfort with incredible views. Available on Arvia and Iona.

Balcony cabins

If you like to feel the sea breeze and enjoy having your own private outdoor space, a Balcony cabin is ideal. Your balcony is the perfect place to savour a lazy continental breakfast or spend a few peaceful hours sunbathing with a book. Available across the fleet with the exception of Arcadia which features Deluxe Balcony cabins.

Sea view cabins

If natural light and a view are a must, our Sea view cabins ensure you’re never too far away from those relaxing views! Each one offers a similar layout and features of an Inside cabin, but with the addition of a window or porthole. Available across the fleet with the exception of Britannia.

Family cabins

A comfortable space for up to four guests, with two lower beds and up to two additional beds in the form of pull-down beds or a sofa bed, both of which will be made up each evening and put away every morning by your cabin steward. Available across the fleet.

Inside cabins

A practical and pocket-friendly choice if you simply need a comfy place to lay your head each night and know that your days will be spent enjoying everything that your ship has to offer. Two additional beds in the form of pull-down beds are available in selected cabins. Available across the fleet.

Single cabins

Single cabins offer everything the solo guest could ask for. They provide ample space, with a comfortable single bed for that perfect night’s sleep at sea. Selected cabins on Arcadia, Arvia, Britannia and Iona have their own private balcony space. Available on Arcadia, Arvia, Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Iona and Ventura.

Which cabin is right for you?

Find out more about our range of cabins on our accommodation page to find your holiday haven.

Are you ready for your first cruise?

Booking your dream holiday has never been easier. A fusion of incredible destinations, exploration and on-board experiences await you.

It's all waiting for you

Whether sailing from our home port of Southampton, or hopping on a fly-cruise; famous landmarks, hidden gems, unique cultures and some of the best experiences on land and sea are all yours.