P&O Cruises can trace its colourful history all the way back to 1837. On 1st September that year, Arthur Anderson and Brodie McGhie Wilcox, founders of the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, were awarded a contract from the British Government to carry mail from London to the Iberian Peninsula. At that time passengers were also carried on these routes, but initially it was more a case of business than pleasure.
It is commonly believed that Arthur Anderson first imagined deep-sea cruising two years before establishing the company. Arthur placed a dummy advertisement selling a mythical cruise to fill space in the first edition of his ‘Shetland Journal’ newspaper.
As the company picked up more contracts with more varied destinations, they also put Anderson’s idea for leisure cruise travel into action. They offered round trip tickets to some of the more exotic destinations along their routes like Malta, Athens and Egypt. Needless to say this new holiday phenomenon well and truly took off.
P&O Cruises set the standards for quality, service, reliability, comfort, safety and innovation. And this forward-looking approach ensures that we remain at the forefront of cruise holidays.
Book with Confidence. We are a Member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. All the package and Flight-Plus holidays we sell are covered by a scheme protecting your money if the supplier fails. Other services such as hotels or flights on their own may not be protected and you should ask us what protection is available.
Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme but ATOL protection does not apply to the other services offered on this site. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, cruises, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see the tour operator(s)’s booking conditions for further information or go to the ATOL site for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate.