New to cruising?

Are you a first time cruiser? On a P&O Cruises holiday, you get to wake up somewhere new nearly every day and explore several destinations at your own leisure and pace – not just one.

What makes a cruise holiday so special?

A cruise holiday is different from your traditional resort stay in many ways. With P&O Cruises, you can experience a unique holiday where the journey is just as exciting as the destination.


Travel the world, unpack once


With us, your well-deserved break begins as soon as you step on board, meaning you've more time to enjoy that unbeatable holiday feeling.


Everything you could need or want is at your very own doorstep. And better yet, it all travels with you as you explore!

Where can I travel to on a cruise holiday?

With over 70 countries and 700 holidays to choose from, there's something for everyone. Colours, cuisine and culture you’ve only ever dreamed of… until now.

What can I do on the ship?

Days at sea can be filled with as much or as little as you want. Fun in the sun with ocean views – now there’s a idea that’s hard to beat.

More onboard activities than ever

Every day on board of a cruise ship you have a large choice from various activities. Our ships are all fully equipped with a gym, spa, swimming pools, children's clubs, restaurants and bars. And with film screenings, dance classes, pub quizzes, sports tournaments and cookery demonstrations, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Luxury accommodation

Enjoy the comfort of a star hotel. From a simple space to lay your head, to something a little more luxurious – everyone has their own style. We’ve got a range of accommodation on our ships to suit all travellers.

Extraordinary food

Great food lies at the heart of a great holiday. Savour modern British classics, flavours inspired by the destinations on your itinerary, as well as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and low-sugar options.

Why our guests love P&O Cruises

What's included in your cruise?

At an additional cost


What can I do on shore?

There's plenty of time to indulge and explore. When you sail with us, you’ll enjoy a full day in almost every destination.

Authentic exploration

Immerse yourself in different cultures with a multitude of destinations at your finger tips. From adventuring on your own terms, to personalised experiences that help you explore the places you want to see most – we offer a huge range, with something for everyone.

Shore excursions

To help you get to the heart of each destination, we offer a huge range of authentic shore experiences, ideal for first time cruisers. Working with local experts, we look past the typical tourist trail to find the unique, authentic and unmissable things to do.

Explore independantly

Discover every destination, your way. Whether you want to fill your days with adventure or relaxing, the choice is all yours. On cruises with evening or overnight stays, you’ll have the chance to soak up the local nightlife. Guests are able to go ashore independently but must adhere to the specific COVID-19 protocols in each destination.

Best cruise ships for first time cruisers

One of the best things about a P&O Cruises holiday is that it is always punctuated by an ocean view. Our newest ships, Arvia and Iona, provide just that. Designed to invite the outdoors in, P&O Cruises Excel class ships make the sea the star, ensuring you’re never far from an ocean panorama or a view of your next destination.

Meet our Excel class ships, Ariva & Iona

On board Arvia and Iona, you can look up, look down and all around - this is an experience that’s truly immersive. What is more, Arvia and Iona are P&O Cruises first ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), paving the way for a more sustainable future.

You're in safe hands

Best cruises for first time cruisers

Pick an itinerary that visits all the places on your wish list. From iconic cities to rustic islands, so many surprises lie in store.

Mediterranean fly-cruises

When you opt for a Mediterranean fly-cruise, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the action in no time. From modernistic, high-energy cities to bustling piazzas, effortlessly stylish boutiques and ancient ruins, the Mediterranean presents a different face at every turn.

Canary Islands

What other holiday lets you stargaze in Tenerife, canyon through Gran Canaria and laze on Lanzarote’s black sand beaches? It’s time to travel beyond the expected. And with so many full days ashore, you’ll have time to dive deep into these extraordinary islands.

Short Breaks

Time to shake up the routine? Set sail on a short break to Bruges (from Zeebrugge), Amsterdam (from IJmuiden) or St Peter Port on the island of Guernsey. With a full day to explore, you can feast your eyes, strolling the coastlines or cobbles before experiencing the best of life at sea, on board your ship.

Norwegian Fjords

You could ski a Norwegian mountain, enjoy a swim with a view (in Iona’s Infinity Pool), dine out on an authentic Norwegian menu crafted by a local leading chef and kick up your heels to an incredible live band. And that’s all in a day. A P&O Cruises holiday is a holiday like no other.

Spain and Portugal

There’s so much more to this region than sunshine and siestas. Leap on a tram to explore Lisbon. Try the freshest seafood along the Spanish coast. Soak up the atmosphere in Seville and bask in the artistry of Barcelona. From traditional Flamenco performances to tapas and historic streets, let the mood take you.


Take a trip to the Caribbean and you’ll discover a whole different side to these dreamy sun-drenched islands. Of course there’s the opportunity to laze on a white-sand beach, but P&O Cruises can also open your eyes to the diverse experiences tucked beyond the breathtaking coastlines.

Are you ready for your first cruise?

A fusion of incredible destinations, exploration and on-board experiences await you.

Frequently Asked Questions