P&O Cruises today announced that it will expand its fleet with a 141,000-tonne cruise ship, built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, scheduled to enter service in March 2015.

The as-yet-unnamed 3,611-passenger vessel will be the largest in the P&O Cruises fleet, as well as the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market.

To be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard, the all-in cost is approximately €155,000 per lower berth. Ushering in an exciting era for P&O Cruises, the ship will offer a stylish and innovative new design and an unprecedented number of passenger facilities, along with many of the brand’s classic and iconic features. Specifications and new product innovations will be announced at a later date.

Commented Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO, “P&O Cruises is Britain’s number one cruise operator, and is synonymous with high quality holidays that celebrate its rich British heritage. The UK continues to be a key growth market and innovative vessels such as this new P&O Cruises ship – targeted specifically to British clientele – underscore our commitment to leading the expansion of this important cruise region. With a progression of highly successful new ships introduced over the last 15 years, P&O Cruises is uniquely experienced in designing vessels to meet the specific needs and aspirations of British passengers. This newly ordered ship will underline P&O Cruises’ position as Britain’s favourite cruise line.”

P&O Cruises Managing Director Carol Marlow said, “This next-generation ship will deliver the ultimate P&O Cruises experience, with ‘sophisticated wows’ and new features to attract thousands of newcomers to our brand, and equally to resonate with existing P&O Cruises passengers by giving them the ‘P&O-ness’ they recognise and love. She will offer ‘the best of the best,’ combining the favourite classic features of Oriana and Aurora, the choice and variety of Azura and Ventura, and a host of new ideas and concepts which together will deliver to our passengers the holiday of a lifetime, every time they travel with us.”