Two days later she will make her last arrival in Southampton bringing to a end her career and in a very real sense disposing of the last vestages of the company that introduced her into service in 1995, P&O Cruises part of The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.
|ORIANA 's maiden arrival in Southampton|
While on a technicality this could be seen as being true, each of the ships in serivce with P&O since 2001 have served their mainly British passengers, from a design point of view this is however a complete contrast to the reality, P&O's post merger fleet have all consisted of generic Carnival/Princess designs built with no real consideration for the British passenger beyond a few aesthetic modifications to make it more 'British'.
It is a complete contrast to that mentality at the time ORIANA was designed the foremost goal that was set was the ship would be designed to appeal to her British clientele in both a decor and range of facilites on board, thus features such as a full Cinema and West End style was included where her US based cousins would combine both venues into a large Las Vegas styled show lounge complete bar service.
While on a technical level her hull was built stronger than a standard cruise ship and her longer bow and deeper draught give her superior sea keeping quailities with her higher speed she is able to reach ports from her homeport in less time than other ships.
Many of these features would later be carried forward to the design of AURORA, sadly that would be as far as her design linage would strech as between them ORIANA and AURORA would become the last passenger ships designed for The P&O Group.
Despite P&O's promises that there will be no more departures from the fleet after ORIANA it more than likely that AURORA will be following ORIANA and leaveing the fleet in the not so distant future allowing Carnival UK to reshape it in the way it feels fit with it's remaing mishmash of mass market Carnival ships to quote the company in recent email to ourselves-
"Our vision is to become Britain's number one holiday company and by balancing guest loyalty and commercial need as well as investing in our current fleet, we are confident that this will be achieved"
Contrasting to the down key and disrespectful way ORIANA has been treated recently we will finish with a brief recap of the 9th April 1995 when ORIANA was the new star of the P&O Cruise fleet, the first super liner built for Britain, and her whole future and that of her owners streached out on her horizon.