P&O Cruises will boost the local economy by £10 million* as around 6,000 people depart on four world cruises from Southampton in the first two weeks of January for the first time.

Collectively the four cruises will visit 148 ports of call and highlights include overnight stays in Buenos Aires, New Orleans, Sydney and Cape Town and scenic cruising in the Amazon, Cape Horn, Beagle Channel and the Amalia Glacier.

All four ships will be flying the 175th Anniversary flag as P&O Cruises kicks off a full year of celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of when the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company was formed.

World cruises offer unrivalled value for money with prices for the 2012 itineraries starting at £82 per person per night, including all meals, entertainment and accommodation on board.

World cruises are increasingly seen as the ideal way to travel the world in comfort and style and more than 6,000 people will be setting sail with P&O Cruises, collectively consuming more than 1,636,600 cups of tea, 3,200,000 sachets of sugar; 21,700 lobsters and 66,000 cocktails.

The four 2012 world cruises are:

·        Aurora, 98-night westabout full world circumnavigation departs Wednesday January 4 2012
·        Oriana, 97-night eastabout full world circumnavigation departs Thursday January 5 2012
·        Arcadia, 109-night Grand Odyssey departs Monday January 9 2012
·        Adonia, 87-night South America Grand Adventure departs Friday January 13 2012

A number of cabins are available on the full Aurora world cruise, with prices from £8,799 for the 98-night cruise departing January 5.  A range of shorter sectors of the world cruises are also available and priced from £1,349 for a 17 night cruise from Southampton to Dubai on board Oriana, departing January 5.

*Point 6.10 of the Atkins 2011 report on the economic impact of the Port of Southampton states that on average the Southampton cruise sector generates £2.5 million per cruise ship homeport turnaround