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Family holidays are a lot of fun and allow you to form cherished memories with your loved ones that will last forever. However, as any parent will tell you, going on a holiday with your family, whether you have one or five children, can be really stressful.
Think booking flights and making sure you’re there on time, choosing the right hotel, finding a driver to take you to and from the hotel. It’s a lot to deal with.
Going on a P&O cruise that departs from Southampton on the other hand removes the need for dealing with the logistical nightmare of going on a holiday abroad.
And that’s just one of the reasons why P&O cruises departing from Southampton have become such a popular choice for families in the UK.
In this guide, we’re going to go over not only some of the best P&O cruise trips departing in 2023, but we’ll also shine some light on the reasons why tens of thousands of families from the UK choose a P&O family cruise for their annual holiday.
But, before we do any of that, it only makes sense for us to first familiarise you with all of the family-friendly ships that P&O Cruises is using for the 2023 season.
That way, when you come across the different types of holidays and see the ship that you’ll be on, you’ll know if it’s right for you and your family.
An Overview of Each Family Friendly P&O Cruise Ship for 2023
P&O own a total of five family-friendly cruise ships, which they’ll be using for the 2023 season.
Below, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the different cruise ships, so when you get to pick the holiday you want to go on, you can see the ship that you’ll be on and you’ll instantly know if it’s something you and your family will enjoy.
First on our list is the Britannia cruise ship. Built in 2015, this ship was designed to offer families of all sizes and with children from all age groups a diverse range of activities and amenities to enjoy while away from home.
On board, you’ll find 26 dining restaurants, cafes, and bars that you can pick from, ensuring there is something to please every palate. The Britannia also features five theatres and lounges, allowing families to enjoy spectacular entertainment together.
With four pools, including dedicated children’s areas, both kids and adults can take a refreshing dip when the sun is out. Other highlights of this 3,647 guest capacity cruise ship include a library, an art gallery, and various options for sports and recreational activities.
As far as accommodation is concerned, depending on the size of your family, you can pick from the Inside room, the Balcony room, or the Suite room. Cabins on the Briannia cruise ship can comfortably accommodate from 1 up to 6 people.
Next up, we have the Iona cruise ship. As one of P&O’s newest and largest ships (built in 2020), the Iona offers an exceptional family-friendly cruise experience. With its staggering capacity of 5,204 guests and a crew of 1,800, this ship ensures there is plenty of space for everyone to unwind and have fun.
Dining options are plentiful. On board, you’ll find a total of 33 restaurants, bars, and cafes, each allowing guests to explore a variety of menus to suit their taste. Entertainment is a top priority on the Iona, with captivating performances and shows to keep everyone regardless of age entertained.
When on board, families can also enjoy a range of activities and amenities, including hi-tech gyms, pools and whirlpools, and sports facilities.
When it comes to accommodation, the Iona doesn’t disappoint. The ship’s premium accommodation provide families with comfortable spaces to relax after a day of exploration. Depending on the size of your family, you can pick from five different room types, including a mini and a full-sized suite.
Built in 2008, the Ventura is one of P&O’s most travelled family-friendly cruise ships. This magnificent cruise liner can accommodate up to 3,078 guests and 1,205 crew members. And as far as actual dining, entertainment, and recreation options are concerned, there’s an abundance of them.
When on board of the Ventura, you’ll find 22 dining bars, cafes, and restaurants, meaning there’s something to satisfy every guest, no matter their dietary requirements. On the ship, you’ll also find swimming pools, perfect for both relaxation and fun-filled water activities.
What’s unique about Ventura is that the entertainment is taken to new heights with three theatres and lounges, ensuring families with children from all ages are entertained throughout their journey. Sports enthusiasts will find a range of options, including basketball, football, cricket, tennis, shuffleboard, and more.
As for accommodation, the Ventura offers four different types of accommodation, ranging from single rooms, which are suited for one guest all the way to suites, which can fit as many as six people.
For families seeking a more intimate cruise experience, the Arvia offers a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. With a capacity of around 5,200 guests and 1,800 crew, this mid-sized ship provides a comfortable setting for families to bond and create lasting memories.
Dining options range from elegant restaurants to casual eateries, ensuring a variety of culinary delights to suit everyone’s taste buds. Entertainment on the Arvia includes theatres, lounges, and bars, where families can enjoy live performances and socialise.
The ship also offers a children’s club, providing fun activities for younger passengers. While on board, families can take advantage of the fitness centre, five pools, and outdoor spaces, allowing for relaxation and recreation amidst breathtaking ocean views.
When it comes to accommodation, you and your family can pick from five different room types, ranging from standard rooms to full-on suites, which can accommodate as many as six guests at once.
The Azura is a family-friendly P&O cruise ship that offers a wealth of experiences for all ages. With a capacity of 3,100 guests, it provides a spacious environment for families to relax and make memories together. A diverse selection of dining options awaits (23 in total), including specialty restaurants, casual eateries, and lively bars.
The ship boasts impressive entertainment venues, such as theatres, lounges, and a show lounge, offering captivating live performances every day for the whole family. Kids and teens have their dedicated clubs and activities, ensuring they have a fantastic time on board.
From sports courts and pools to a well-equipped gym and spa, the Azura caters to the varied interests of families seeking both relaxation and excitement.
As far as accommodation goes, you and your family can pick from four different room types, including Inside, Sea View, Balcony, and Suite. These accommodation options can comfortably accommodate anywhere from one to six guests.
Reasons Why Families Choose P&O Cruises Departing From Southampton for Their Family Cruise
There are many different reasons why families from all over the United Kingdom choose to go on a P&O cruise for their annual holiday rather than fly to a set destination. Some of the most common reasons include:
A Variety of Family-Friendly Accommodation:
The first reason we highly recommend P&O cruises from Southampton is because of how well their cruises cater to families when it comes to room offerings. Each of their family-friendly cruise ships (Arvia, Iona, Britannia, Ventura, and Azura) allow families to have their privacy while still being in the same room.
All cruise ships mentioned above have suites and mini suites, which can fit up to six guests at a time. Please note that children are not allowed to be in a room without adult supervision, so if you have a bigger family, you and your partner will need to sleep in separate rooms.
That said, every room on P&O’s cruise ships is designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. Though some of the cabins can be quite compact, you’ll find everything you and your family could possibly need for the duration of your trip.
You Get to Visit New and Unique Destinations Hassle-Free:
Booking a multi-destination holiday with your family is not only logistically difficult to achieve but can also be very expensive.
So, if you and your family ever wanted to visit a number of well-known destinations around Europe, going on one of P&O’s family cruise holidays is a great way to do so.
In 2023, P&O cruises that depart from Southampton will visit a few dozen destinations all over Europe, ranging from Italy, Spain and Portugal to Scandinavian countries in the likes of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
In other words, no matter if you’re after a bit of sun or you want to explore the culture and vast scenery Scandinavia has to offer, P&O cruises departing from Southampton have plenty to offer.
A Different Hotel Experience:
P&O Cruises are some of the most popular cruises in the world. And this isn’t just because of their big ships that go to a number of destinations during your trip. With P&O cruises, you get a wonderful boutique hotel experience that’s miles away from the typical holiday experience. Instead of the boring and boxy rooms with no view, you get unique room setups with a beautiful interior and a view that you definitely won’t forget.
On top of that, staying in a hotel on a boat is something you will easily remember for a lifetime. If your children are aching for an adventure but you still want to keep them safe, a P&O cruise is a wonderful idea for your summer holiday.
P&O pays extreme attention to the way they set up their cruise ships. That’s why there are many well-places blocks of green, beautifully designed lounges, and a magnificent overall exterior that will have people of all ages dropping their jaws.
Even with 5,000 people on-board their biggest boat is so well-designed that you don’t feel cramped, which is a common worry amongst people looking to embark on a cruise trip. Don’t worry – P&O cruise ships are very far from that.
Onboard Safety & Security:
P&O Cruises deal with hundreds of thousands of passengers each year, and one of their top priorities is keeping everyone safe on board. To ensure every passenger on board is safe at all times, the cruise line has implemented strict safety measures and protocols to follow in case of emergency and every staff member regularly goes through emergency drills.
On top of that, there are medical facilities on board and every member of staff is trained to ensure a secure environment for all guests during their adventure. And as safety and security is one of the biggest concerns for families going on holiday with children, it’s no wonder why P&O Cruises are a great choice for holidaymakers.
A Large Variety of Dining Options on Board:
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, there’s a high chance that you share the common belief that you will have to stick to the same restaurants since you can’t always eat on land. And while that may be true for some cruise companies, it’s absolutely not the case when it comes to P&O Cruises.
Depending on which cruise ship you end up going on, you’ll find that most of P&O’s cruise ships have over 30 different restaurants where you can get delicious food or snacks. What this means is that if you’re only travelling for a week, you can have three meals every single day at different restaurants and you’ll still have 9 restaurants that you haven’t had the chance to try out.
So, whether you’re a picky eater, someone who has specific dietary requirements, or want to try out a different cuisine each day, that’s totally possible.
Clubs & Activities for Children of All Ages:
As mentioned earlier, P&O cruises have various activity clubs. Even with all the amenities on-board, it can be hard for kids to find something to do. But if you enrol them in different activity clubs, they’ll have something to do throughout the entire trip. That way, they get to learn something new while also having a lot of fun on board.
We aren’t kidding when they say they have kid’s clubs for all ages. The youngest club on P&O cruises is called the Splashers club, made for kids between the ages of 2 and 4. This is a small club designed to allow little children to have the most fun they’ve ever had. All of P&O family-friendly cruises have a Splashers club, but each ship has a different set of activities for its members.
The next club is called the Surfers club, which is for kids between the ages of 5-8. In this club, kids can play computer games, hang out with each other, watch movies, and even create a puppet show, which allows them to tap into their creative side.
Again, all family-friendly P&O cruises have a Surfers club, but activities can vary depending on the ship you’re going on. On top of that, there are also qualified reef rangers to help keep your kids safe and engaged at all times.
Moving on to the older clubs, there is the Scubas club for ages 9-12. This club features an arcade on the ship where kids can play air hockey, computer games, jump into the pool, or just chill with their new found friends. There are many things for kids to do in the Scubas club, so you and your partner can explore the entire ship while the staff keeps your children entertained.
The last kid’s club on P&O cruises are for the older children. The H2O club is for kids aged 13-17 and it offers a chill area for everyone to hang out. There are pool tables, computers, consoles, and even an arcade. Additionally, the club is a really chilled hangout spot with various bean bags and sofas, so if the teenagers just want to hang out and talk, they can definitely do that.
Great Value for Money:
And last but not least, one of the biggest reasons why families from the UK choose to go on P&O cruises is due to the great value for money they offer. Within the price that you’ll pay is included access to dozens of restaurants you can try out on board, an ample of entertainment options, sporting activities, pools, gyms, theatres, and so much more.
Aside from that, you not only get to visit a number of different destinations, but you also don’t need to catch a flight for each one of them. And not only that, but it also won’t cost you several thousand pounds (depending on the cruise you choose of course) to do with you and your family.
So, if you want a memorable family holiday that is worth every penny, below, we’ll go over some of our favourite P&O cruise options departing from Southampton during the children’s summer holidays in 2023.
Best P&O Cruises Departing From Southampton in 2023
There are hundreds of P&O cruises departing from Southampton during 2023. And while most of them are very decent, there are five P&O cruises that depart in 2023, which you definitely need to consider especially if you plan on embarking on such a trip with your family this year.
14 Nights in the Mediterranean During the Midst of Summer:
If you’re looking for the ultimate two week adventure in the Mediterranean for you and your family during the peak of summer, this one is definitely for you. This cruise trip begins on the 21st of July 2023 and comes to an end on the 4th of August 2023.
You will spend 14 days on the Britannia cruise ship, which can accommodate up to 3,647 guests. During the trip, you’ll visit Gibraltar (on day 4), Ibiza (on day 6-7), Mallorca (on day 7), Cagliari (on day 9), Malaga (on day 11), and Cadiz (on day 12) before spending the last two days at sea travelling back to Southampton.
Built in 2015, the Britannia cruise ship has 26 dining restaurants, cafes, and bars, 5 theatres & lounges, 4 pools, a library, an art gallery, and a whole lot more for you to explore.
A 7 Night Adventure Through the Norwegian Fjords:
If you’re looking for a change of pace and visit one of the most stunning travel destinations on our continent, this once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the Norwegian Fjords is just what you need. For your 7 night journey up north, you’ll be on the Iona cruise ship, which was built in 2020, and can accommodate 5204 guests.
The cruise ship departs from Southampton on the 22nd of July and arrives back in Southampton on the 29th of July 2023. During the seven days, you’ll visit:
- Stavanger (on day 3)
- Olden (on day 4)
- Cruise by Innvikfjorden and Nordfjord (on day 4)
- Hellesylt (on day 5)
- Geirangerfjord (on day 5)
- Cruise by Sunnylvsfjorden and Storfjorden (on day 5)
- Haugesund (on day 6)
On board of the Iona cruise ship, you’ll find 33 different dining restaurants, cafes, and bars, 6 theatres & lounges, 5 swimming pools, a spa, gym, a shopping centre, and much more. The cost of going on this adventure starts at £649 per person.
A 4 Night Family-Friendly Trip to Amsterdam:
If you’re on the lookout for a short, sweet, and very affordable get-away for you and the family during the children’s summer holidays, this trip to Amsterdam may be the perfect opportunity to do just that. During the four days, you will be on the Ventura cruise ship, which was built in 2008 and can accommodate a total of 3,078 guests.
You will depart on the 25th of July from Southampton and will get back on the 29th of July 2023. During the four nights, your only destination will be Amsterdam, which is where you and your family will spend day two and three.
When on board of the Ventura cruise ship, you’ll get to pick from 22 dining bars, cafes, and restaurants. There are also four swimming pools and three theatres and lounges on board. Aside from that, you and your family can participate in many sporting activities such as basketball, five-a-side football, cricket, tennis, shuffleboard, and much more.
Prices for this trip to Amsterdam start at only £349 per person. So, if you’re looking for the best value for money, it hardly gets any better than this.
A 14 Night Adventure Through Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands:
If you and the family are looking for a unique way to experience the most prominent parts of Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands, you won’t find a better opportunity than jumping on board the Ventura cruise ship.
The ship for this trip departs from Southampton on the 5th of August 2023 and arrives back in Southampton on the 19th of August 2023. During the fortnight, you’ll get the chance to visit:
- Madeira (on day 5)
- La Palma (on day 6)
- Tenerife (on day 7)
- Gran Canaria (on day 8)
- Lanzarote (on day 9)
- Cadiz (on day 11)
- Lisbon (on day 12)
Once aboard the Ventura cruise ship, you’ll have the privilege of choosing from a selection of 22 dining establishments, including bars, cafes, and restaurants. The ship also features an impressive array of amenities, including four swimming pools and three theatres and lounges.
On top of that, you and the family can up your fun by keeping active and participating in games of basketball, football, cricket, table tennis, and more. On the cruise, there’s also a gym, spa, and other leisure spots you and your family can visit when you want to spice things up.
The cost for this 14-day trip to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands starts at £1,099 per person, which is great value for money considering the destination that you’ll be visiting.
If you’re considering going on a P&O cruise departing from Southampton in 2023, you’re in for a treat. With a wide range of family-friendly activities, dedicated children’s clubs, spacious accommodation, and convenient departures from Southampton, these cruises provide a stress-free opportunity for you and your family to enjoy a stress-free holiday abroad.
Whether you’re looking to visit Amsterdam on a budget just for a couple of days or want to take it to a whole new level and spend 14 days across Spain, Portugal and the Canary Island – P&O Cruises have everything you could ever ask for.