P&O Cruises has announced that its entire fleet will dock in Southampton for its ‘Grand Event’ next year. The cruise line’s seven ships will meet for the first time on 3 July 2012 to mark the 175th anniversary of the cruising concept. “As cruising has become the fastest growing sector of the UK holiday market, so the P&O Cruises fleet has grown to seven ships dedicated to the British market,” said Carol Marlow, managing director of P&O Cruises. “Whereas the very first P&O ships plied their trades to the Iberian Peninsular and the Orient, P&O Cruises ships sail throughout Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Scandinavia, Mediterranean, Atlantic islands and, of course, on round the world cruises. What was once a national necessity is now a national pastime and is worthy of a grand celebration.” After meeting in Southampton, the ships will salute each other in open water before departing on its own Grand Event cruise. Deck parties, a Gala dinner, guest speakers and more will be included on each cruise.