Sponsored content

P&O CruisesIn many ways, cruising is the ultimate expression of freedom. Gliding across sparkling seas, hopping on and off at bustling ports, and immersing yourself in exciting experiences allows you to see and do far more than you would on a land-based holiday.

There are many reasons why cruises are growing in popularity, and the feeling of boundless freedom is just one of them. To shine a light on why cruising is the ultimate escape – and highlight a few incredible destinations – we’ve partnered with the award-winning P&O Cruises. Britain’s favourite cruise line offers excellent value for money, and the chance to discover multiple new destinations while travelling in style.

On board, you’ll stay in stylish accommodation, enjoy delicious food, and have access to fantastic facilities. Plus, P&O Cruises offers a wide range of shore experiences, which allow you to learn about new cultures and make the most of your spectacular surroundings.

So, if you’d like to know more about the benefits of cruising and get inspiration for where to visit, we’ve got the lowdown.

Discover the Norwegian Fjords with P&O Cruises

The best view of the fjords is from inside the fjords. From enchanting landscapes to towering mountains and sky-high waterfalls, there’s simply no better way to fully appreciate the untouched beauty of the Norwegian Fjords than from the water.

Sail out of Southampton with P&O Cruises and discover one of the most spectacular regions of the world.

Book now

Why cruising offers the ultimate escape

Why cruising offers the ultimate escape

Cruise holidays offer incredible value for money because so much is included – from accommodation and flights (if you choose a fly-cruise holiday) to food and entertainment. Tipping isn’t needed on P&O Cruises ships either, so you can relax knowing good service and good times are all part and parcel of your P&O Cruises holiday.

On board, you’ll be travelling in comfort and style too. For some quiet time, you can relax in your chic cabin, reading a book or watching TV – or enjoy sensational sea views from many vantage points on board or out on the deck. Or if you’re looking for something more lively, you’ll be spoilt for choice. P&O Cruises is known for fabulous entertainment – from live music and theatre shows to cinema screenings and special performances, like DJ sets and stand-up comedy.

There are also plenty of other activities to get involved with. If you’re in the mood for some R&R, why not head to the luxurious Oasis Spa and Salon for a treatment? Or perhaps you want to work up a sweat in a wellness class, or at the gym? Bookworms can lose themselves in the library on most ships, while social butterflies might enjoy pub quizzes or game shows, sipping cocktails at a buzzing bar, or maybe even throwing some shapes at a silent disco.

Why cruising offers the ultimate escape

The on-board activities are as diverse as the guests – and for decades, P&O Cruises has been beloved by a wide range of people. From couples to multigenerational families to solo travellers, the diversity on offer means holidays can be tailored to your preferences. So, whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing, recuperating break, you can trust P&O Cruises to deliver it.

And then there’s the simple fact that you can see far more of the world from the water. Cruises take you to multiple destinations, allowing you to experience diverse cultures, landscapes, and experiences. From idyllic islands cast adrift in the ocean to bustling port cities and captivating coastal towns, a cruise can open your eyes to the beauty of the world. History can come to life, new cultures can be appreciated, and local cuisines discovered and savoured. And all the while, you’ll be enjoying life’s little luxuries.

What are P&O Cruises ships like?

On a P&O Cruises holiday, your ship will be your home, and these ships are as spacious as they are sleek. On Iona, you’ll feel in tune with the elements, as this ship was specifically designed to bring the outdoors inside. The luminous glass-roofed SkyDome will make you feel as though you’re outside, and the three-deck-high Grand Atrium provides plenty of natural light and panoramic sea views.

Iona offers far more than stunning contemporary design, however. With four pools, more than 30 restaurants and bars, and 10 entertainment venues, there’s no chance you’ll get bored. Foodies will love trying out the different restaurants, and there’s something for every palate – from British classics to fusion food, as well as menus inspired by your destinations. There are plenty of surprises in store too, from an on-board gin distillery to a children’s club that offers a wide-range of age-specific activities.

What are P&O Cruises ships like?

Arvia is just as incredible. If Iona is about inviting the outdoors inside, Arvia is about bringing the sunshine in. With a wealth of bright, light spaces and a state-of-the-art retractable SkyDome roof – not to mention a swim-up bar and infinity pool – kicking back on this stunning ship is a joy. There are more than 30 places to eat and drink on board, from the laid-back, all-American 6th Street Diner to fancy restaurants serving the finest food and wine.

For a truly unique experience at sea, why not explore Arvia’s Mission Control, P&O Cruises first multi-sensory immersive submarine simulation game? If you’re travelling with friends or family, this is a wonderful opportunity to team up to tackle a series of puzzles on an exhilarating and unforgettable underwater adventure. Or, for something more leisurely, head to Oasis Spa and Salon, where you can treat yourself to some indulgent pampering.

What are P&O Cruises ships like

3 incredible cruise destinations for first-time cruisers

Space and comfort are of great importance on your cruise journey – but the destination is just as key. While the on-board activities, amenities, and entertainment are a big part of what makes a P&O Cruises holiday so special, the destination shapes the whole experience. And part of the beauty of a cruise is that the world really is your oyster.

On a P&O Cruises holiday, you can visit many of the world’s most dreamy destinations in one trip, immersing yourself in new cultures, cuisines, and experiences as you go. But if you’re new to cruising, there are a few destinations that stand out.

Below, we’ve outlined three of our favourite cruise destinations – and why they’re perfect for first-time cruisers.

1. The Norwegian Fjords

The Norwegian Fjords

Norway is widely regarded as one of the world’s most dramatically beautiful countries – and on a P&O Cruises holiday, you’ll see why. Norway’s UNESCO-protected fjords are vast, wild, and serene, and their remoteness means they’re best explored from the water. Cruising through these astonishingly blue waters on Iona is a truly memorable experience, and the views from the deck are unrivalled.

As you cruise past soaring mountains, granite rock faces, colourful port towns, and flower-speckled meadows, there’s a good chance you’ll be left speechless. The majesty of these glacier-carved fjords can’t be overstated – but Norway’s natural beauty is just part of the appeal of a cruise here. P&O Cruises offers shore experiences that allow you to delve deep into Norwegian culture and Viking history, gaining a new perspective on this unique part of the world.

From Olden, you can take an enchanting hike to the incredible Briksdal Glacier (mainland Europe’s largest glacier), explore historically significant locations on the Stavanger Highlights shore experience, or take a helicopter thrill ride over towering peaks. If you’re passionate about food, you’ll have a blast sampling ‘Neo Fjordic’ cuisine, and trying delicious dishes that celebrate the fresh local produce. Stopping at ports such as Stavanger, Olden, Hellesylt, and Haugesund, you’ll see the best of this beautiful country in one single trip.

2. The Caribbean

The Caribbean

Few places are more synonymous with tropical paradise than the Caribbean. Home to more than 700 islands, reefs, and cays – not to mention turquoise waters, powder-white sands, and swaying palm trees – it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. Perfect for first-time cruisers looking for sun, sea, and sand, a holiday to the Caribbean is unforgettable.

On a 14-night P&O Cruises fly-cruise holiday to the Caribbean, you could visit destinations such as Antigua, Barbados, St Maarten, St Lucia, Tortola, Grenada, St Kitts and Martinique – so, you’re sure to find your perfect itinerary. The landscapes here also comprise far more than just beaches. P&O Cruises offers shore experiences that could take you to lush rainforests, hot springs, and jungle-cloaked mountains.

The diversity of this region is part of its appeal – not just in terms of the islands, but the experiences on offer too. If you’re a foodie, why not taste your way around Caribbean cuisine, sampling delicious dishes such as conch chowder and fried jackfish – perhaps washed down with a local rum? The sun-soaked sands and shimmering reefs will please beach lovers, while culture vultures will love exploring vibrant colonial towns and immersing themselves in the famously laid-back ambience.

  • Americas, Europe | 14 nights | Book with P&O Cruises

    United Kingdom, Spain, St. Maarten, St Kitts/Nevis and more | Departs from Southampton, UK 24 Oct 2025. Sailing on Arvia.

    From £1,099pp

  • Americas | 14 nights | Book with P&O Cruises

    Barbados, St Kitts/Nevis, Virgin Is/British, St. Maarten and more | Departs from Bridgetown, Barbados 06 Dec 2025. Sailing on Arvia.

    From £1,499pp

  • Americas | 14 nights | Book with P&O Cruises

    Antigua And Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Barbados and more | Departs from Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda 11 Jan 2025. Sailing on Arvia.

    From £1,649pp

3. The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean

If you want to stay closer to home while still soaking up the sun, a Mediterranean cruise might be for you. P&O Cruises offers Mediterranean cruises sailing from Southampton or fly-cruises departing from Valletta, Malta.

Known for its art, architecture, history, and culture – not to mention fabulous food – the Mediterranean has something for everyone. While cruising, you can admire glittering seascapes, colourful coastal towns, and blissful beaches as you cruise.

History buffs and culture enthusiasts will surely relish the chance to visit some of Europe’s most sensational sights. You could explore ancient Greek ruins at Ephesus (from Kusadasi), marvel at dramatic domes in Florence (from Livorno), or stroll along Dubrovnik’s 12th-century city walls. In Spain, you could admire Barcelona’s gloriously colourful Park Güell, visit the grand Alcázar in Seville (from Cádiz), and see the historic architecture in Valencia. Wherever you are in the Med, you won’t be far from atmospheric towns and historic cities.

And then there’s the food. On board, you can take advantage of excellent eateries, and, on land, you’re just as spoiled. Feast on mezze in Greece, tapas in Spain, petiscos in Portugal, and all the pizza, pasta, and ice cream you can manage in Italy. Each destination has unique delicacies, so a Mediterranean cruise is a foodie’s dream. When you want to relax, the white-sand beaches and warm azure waters here rival those of the Caribbean.

Final thoughts…

A P&O Cruises holiday allows you to see far more of the world than you would on a land-based holiday – with the bonus of having so much to do while on board too. With phenomenal food and epic dining events, fantastic amenities, and diverse, exciting entertainment, staying occupied is easy.

But of course, a cruise is the only holiday where the journey is as exciting as the destinations, and P&O Cruises also offers the option to book immersive shore experiences. These allow you to learn about the local culture and history, sample famous gastronomic delights, and soak up the scenic beauty of your surroundings.

A P&O Cruises holiday is designed with your comfort and convenience in mind too – whether it’s being able to pay in pounds, not having to worry about tipping, or travelling in comfort.

The three destinations featured in this article are a few of many, as P&O Cruises ships sail north, south, east, and west across both oceans and seas. Wherever your travel dreams are telling you to go, with P&O Cruises you can plan the ultimate escape.

To find out more about holidays with P&O Cruises, you can visit the website here…