P&O is this year celebrating 175 years of heritage and will hold The Grand Event in Southampton as part of the celebrations. On Tuesday 3 July 2012, all seven of P&O’s ships will be in Southampton together for the first time, with thousands expected to line the shore to witness this historical event.
A map showing the best vantage points and times to witness the sail-away has been released. The map charts the progress of the seven ships out into the Solent, meaning that onlookers and well-wishers can secure a vantage point from which to observe the historical event.
“This day is one of the most significant days in our history, as all our seven ships gather in their home port on the same day for the first time ever,” said Carol Marlow, managing director of P&O Cruises. “As we look forward to exciting plans for our next new ship in 2015, it is fitting to be celebrating our past as it has helped us become known as Britain’s trusted cruise experts”.
Departing guests will enjoy a special deck party to see them off in style. The ships will then form a procession as they leave Southampton and head down the Solent and when they reach the wider part of the channel the procession will be photographed from the air before the ships sail to their next destinations. All seven departing ships will be heritage themed with special onboard entertainment that includes a 175th Anniversary Gala dinner, heritage displays, guest speakers and more. One couple on each ship has the chance to win a full world cruise of their choice with the line in 2013.