The 180,000gt vessel will have approximately 5,200 lower berths and, like its sister, will be registered in the UK. The price was not announced but Seatrade's orderbook puts the first ship at $1.1bn.
The pair will add 22% capacity to the P&O Cruises brand.
Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein cited momentum in the awareness of cruising as more people experience the 'value for money, unrivaled service and extraordinary on-board experience. These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth,' he said.
Added P&O Cruises SVP Paul Ludlow: 'We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain's number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet. The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.'
Ludow predicted 'an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both millennials and Generation Xers. Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up.
'Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing on-board and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for, while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers.'
The first P&O newbuild will go on sale in September, and the company plans to announce key design elements this year.
'Our P&O Cruises signature features in dining and entertainment will be across all our ships, but the space and build of the two new ships allows us to have innovative new experiences to create the most memorable holidays,' Ludlow said.
Thomas Weigend, managing director of Meyer Werft, welcomed the continued 'excellent partnership' with Carnival Corp. and P&O Cruises.
Carnival Corp. now has 19 ships on order. Eight of those are at Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku for dual-fuel, LNG-powered vessels with delivery dates between 2018 and 2022.
Besides the pair of P&O ships, two are for AIDA Cruises, with AIDAnova coming this year and a sister in 2021. Two are for Costa Cruises for delivery in 2019 and 2021 and two for Carnival Cruise Line with delivery planned for 2020 and 2022.