Has P&O boss made an Olympian decision about his new cruise ship?

//Has P&O boss made an Olympian decision about his new cruise ship?

The publicity machine is cranking itself into gear for P&O’s new baby – the biggest cruise ship ever to be built for the British market.
As construction gathers pace in an Italian dry dock, the company has disclosed the team of senior officers who will command the ship.
The long-awaited announcement of the vessel’s name is expected to be made before the end of the month, and speculation is beginning to build.
The only certainty is that – in common with every other vessel in P&O’s fleet – it will end with an ‘a.’ Beyond that, predictions (or guesses) have veered from a revival of the much-loved Canberra to something new. My money was mischievously on Carolia – after managing director Carol Marlow – until it was announced she would be leaving the company.
Gerard Tempest, the chief commercial officer at parent company Carnival UK, told me in July that his boss, chief executive David Dingle, would have a big hand in selecting the name.
“David is a walking encyclopedia of shipping and of P&O,” said Tempest. “He knows exactly what has gone before and what the name for the new ship will mean in terms of the heritage of the business.
“Before we can make a final decision there’s the whole legal business of registering the name as a trademark and ensuring that we actually own the name.”
So it is interesting to see that within the past few weeks, Carnival UK has registered two trademarks with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.
First to be filed, on June 12, was Olympia. It was followed on July 27 by Britannia.
If either of them is the chosen name, it will be an interesting selection. Britannia is, of course, the name of the Royal Yacht, now a tourist attraction in Leith, Scotland, rather than an active ship on Her Majesty’s service. Britannia was also the name of the first steamship built for Cunard’s Transatlantic mail service, in 1840.
Olympia has been used to name a previous P&O ship, albeit more than 100 years ago.
Both names have other historic echoes. Olympic and Britannic were sister ships to the Titanic, a name you may have heard of and which is guaranteed never to be revived.
Those crew names, by the way: Paul Brown and David Pembridge are to be captains.
Brown joined P&O in 1996 and was first promoted to captain in June 2007 on board Aurora. He then went on to be master on board Artemis, Oriana, Ventura and Azura.
Pembridge joined the company in 1976 and was first promoted to captain in October 2002 on board Pacific Princess. He then went on to be master on board Royal Princess, Sun Princess, Artemis, Oceana, Ocean Village 2, Oriana and Aurora.
Martin Allen and Hamish Sunter have been named as deputy captains, and Darljit Sharma and Keith de la Mare as executive pursers.
Have P&O chosen the ship’s name wisely? What do you think? Have you got an alternative suggestion?

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:30+00:00 6 September 2013|Cruise News|4 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Scott Anderson 6 September 2013 at 9:54 am - Reply

    I still like Canberra II, but seeing as this is the largest ship for P&O, Olympia is fitting – hope the IOC are OK with that name!

  2. James Crossland 6 September 2013 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    If it was open to a vote mine would be for the Canberra to come back!

  3. chris 6 September 2013 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Surely Gerard would want Premiera – in line with the new management scheme of things!

  4. Tom Burke 13 September 2013 at 7:17 am - Reply

    I’m not in favour of Canberra – that was a unique ship and this new one will not share much with her. Olympia and Britannia seem rather boring, though I prefer the former to the latter. Also, given that both of these resonate with the names of two White Star ships, it might be worth remembering that Olympic had a long and successful career whereas Britannic was sunk by enemy action in the Mediterranean.
    Given an absolutely free choice, I’d pull an old P&O name out of the hat and call her ‘Iberia’.

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