Not to be outdone by their friends at Cunard and the Queen Elizabeth unveiling, P&O have announced the inaugural voyages for their own new cruise ship, Azura, which will go on sale at travel agents on March 30.
The maiden voyage is a 16-night Mediterranean cruise leaving Southampton on April 12 next year. Prices start from £1,524 per person including an early-booking discount.
The ship will be based in Southampton for the summer, sailing to the Med, the Canaries and the Baltic. After a three-night mini-cruise to Bruges and Le Havre, she crosses the Atlantic in October to spend the winter in the Caribbean, sailing 15-night cruises out of Barbados.
There will also be a 29-night Christmas and New Year Caribbean cruise visiting five ports in the United States.
The 3,100-passenger vessel is a sister ship to Ventura, but will not be as determinedly targeted at a family audience.
New features include an open-air cinema, a tranquil spa terrace called The Retreat, and a speciality Indian restaurant with menus designed by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar.
Azura, being built at the Monfalcone shipyard at Trieste in Italy, will be floated out in June, making way in the dry dock for assembly work to start on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.