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P&O Cruises is a British-American owned cruise line based at Carnival House in Southampton, England, and operated by Carnival UK. Originally a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, P&O Cruises is the oldest cruise line in the world, having operated the world's first passenger ships in the early 19th century. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operates seven cruise ships with a total passenger capacity of 14,970 and a 5% market share of all cruise lines worldwide. Its most recent vessel MS Adonia joined the fleet in May 2011.

In 1977, P&O re-branded its passenger division, creating P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia. In February 1979 Kungsholm, a former Swedish American Line vessel, was acquired from Flagship Cruises and after a major refit was renamed Sea Princess. Operating out of Australia, she replaced Arcadia that was then sold to Taiwanese ship breakers. In spring 1982 Oriana replaced Sea Princess in Australia, leaving Sea Princess to be transferred to the UK. When Canberra returned from the Falklands War, Sea Princess was switched to the Princess fleet in 1986 leaving just the Canberra for the UK market. With Canberra's withdrawal becoming ever more imminent, P&O ordered its first new ship for the British market, the Oriana, delivered in 1995. Canberra ran alongside her for two years until she was scrapped in 1997.
Canberra was replaced by Star Princess, renamed Arcadia. She became the first ship in the P&O fleet to be dedicated for adults only, a role that would be continued by her replacement Adonia, the second Sea Princess. In April 2000 Aurora, a half-sister ship to Oriana entered service for P&O. Although externally Aurora is similar to her half-sister Oriana, internally she is much different. Aurora also has a larger Gross Tonnage partly due to the fact that she has an enclosed centre swimming pool.
In 2003 Arcadia was transferred to the new Ocean Village brand and was renamed Ocean Village. At the same time, Oceana (ex Ocean Princess) and her sister Adonia (ex Sea Princess) were transferred to the P&O fleet. Oceana remains with P&O but Adonia was transferred back to Princess Cruises in 2005, when she was replaced by the new Arcadia, an original Vista class design. Another former Princess ship, Artemis, joined P&O in 2005, and left the fleet in 2011 to be replaced by the second Adonia, the former Royal Princess. She is even smaller than the Artemis at 30,000 gross tons and is the smallest in the fleet.
As of 2012, the Arcadia, Adonia and the Oriana are adult-only ships. P&O Cruises announced in June 2011 that it will expand its fleet with a 141,000-ton cruise ship, Britannia, built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, scheduled to enter service in 2015.In January 2014, P&O Cruises unveiled plans to introduce a new fleet-wide livery based on the UK's Union Flag design to emphasise the line's British heritage.

In February 2000, it was announced that all cruise ship operations, including P&O Cruises, were to be de-merged from the P&O group, forming a new independent company, P&O Princess Cruises. The company operated the P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, AIDA Cruises and later A'Rosa Cruises and Ocean Village fleets, before merging with Carnival Corporation to form Carnival Corporation & plc in 2003.

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