P&O Cruises can trace its colourful history all the way back to 1837. On 1st September that year, Arthur Anderson and Brodie McGhie Wilcox, founders of the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, were awarded a contract from the British Government to carry mail from London to the Iberian Peninsula. At that time passengers were also carried on these routes, but initially it was more a case of business than pleasure.
It is commonly believed that Arthur Anderson first imagined deep-sea cruising two years before establishing the company. Arthur placed a dummy advertisement selling a mythical cruise to fill space in the first edition of his ‘Shetland Journal’ newspaper.
As the company picked up more contracts with more varied destinations, they also put Anderson’s idea for leisure cruise travel into action. They offered round trip tickets to some of the more exotic destinations along their routes like Malta, Athens and Egypt. Needless to say this new holiday phenomenon well and truly took off.
P&O Cruises set the standards for quality, service, reliability, comfort, safety and innovation. And this forward-looking approach ensures that we remain at the forefront of cruise holidays.