'Oriana is an original, and a much loved P&O Cruises ship. Whilst we will miss her, her departure will allow us to focus on our remaining mid-sized and larger ships as the fleet expands with Iona and her sister ship in 2020 and 2022 respectively,' said P&O Cruises SVP Paul Ludlow.
Built in 1995, Oriana measures 69,000gt and has 1,818 lower berths. Along with Arcadia, it is an adults-only ship, as Aurora will be starting in March.
The enhancement programme will cover three key areas of investment in shore excursions, dining and entertainment across mid-sized ships Arcadia and Aurora and Oceana as well as the larger ships Britannia, Azura and Ventura.
Aurora refit will add cabins
Aurora will be refitted next spring, prior to re-launch as a ship exclusively for adults, when new cabins will be added as well as fixtures, fittings, soft furnishings and enhancements to public spaces.
'With the introduction of Iona in 2020, followed by a similar ship two years later, it is also imperative that we continue to elevate the standards of the rest of the fleet,' Ludlow said. 'Our research with current and prospective guests shows that their holidays need to give them a vital boost to their everyday lives. They tell us that they want to "live life at 100%."'
New excursions, shows, daytime activities, menus
Ludlow continued that cruising today is perceived as a contemporary and aspirational holiday yet it still makes up just a sliver of the holiday market as a whole. 'Our vision is to break these barriers by listening to feedback from our loyal guests whilst expanding the audience of new cruisers,' he said.
Ludlow said the additions will include new excursions across itineraries and new dazzling theatre shows and daytime activities that reflect today’s trends.
'Food hero' Eric Lanlard
Besides Aurora’s refit next year, 'food hero' Eric Lanlard has devised a new afternoon tea for all the ships and refreshed menus and cocktails across the fleet.
A special final sailing of Oriana will be announced shortly, and further details of the new guest experience are to come.