Atrium on BritanniaAs the Britannia debuted in late February, so did a completely new interior design for P&O Cruises from Richmond, a UK-based design firm that specializes in hotels. Originally tasked with part of the spa on the Royal Princess, P&O took notice, and brought Richmond in to design the entire ship.

“We went back and looked historically at what cruise ships were like in the early days. They were classical and clean, and weren’t over-themed,” said Terry McGillicuddy, director of Richmond.

McGillicuddy pointed to elements ranging from waiter stations to the fact they found a way to get a shower door in the bathrooms in every stateroom.

“We designed internal spaces in larger public rooms, and tried to introduce rooms within rooms,” he said. “You feel as if you are eating in a space with 60 people as opposed to 600.”

Describing the ship as a modern classic, Richmond’s design team visited P&O vessels over the course of the multi-year project when the vessels came to Southampton. The interiors feature elements and colors of P&O’s heritage.

Does the ship’s interior design have a shelf life?

“We try to approach it with getting the feeling of the room right, and then adding elements,” answered McGillicuddy. “We don’t over-theme anything.”

Richmond is most proud of the atrium where McGillicuddy said the area combines space and shapes, along with a spiral staircase, and comes together to be a focal point of the ship.