P&O Ventura Drydocking (photo: Oliver Asmussen)A multi-million pound refurbishment has been carried out to Ventura to incorporate features which have proved popular with passengers on sister ship Azura.

Successful concepts from Azura, such as The Glasshouse, The Retreat, menus designed by Michelin -star chef Atul Kochhar in speciality restaurant East and single cabins have all been introduced on board Ventura as part of P&O Cruises ongoing refit programme.

Highlights include:

The Glasshouse

•    The Glasshouse has been introduced, to replace Las Ramblas bar and restaurant on Deck 7

•    Installation of enomatic wine system allows passengers to buy premium wines by the glass selected by TV wine expert Olly Smith

•    Conversion to The Glasshouse menu with a selection of small and large plates available for lunch and dinner (additional charge). Small plates include:chorizo, pork belly and butter bean cassoulet and larger plates include a selection of steak, burger and fish dishes with triple cooked chips as well as vegetarian options including woodland mushroom and spring onion risotto with melting camembert


•    East now features a new menu designed by Michelin-star celebrity chef Atul Kochhar

•    Atul has devised a unique Thai/Indonesian menu, which also includes influences from Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine. Sample dishes include:

-24 Hour Slow Cooked Lamb Rendang - Indonesian style curry with coconut milk, shallots, garlic and ginger

-Spiced Sea Bream – wrapped in banana leaf and griddled with shallots and green chillies

Atul Kochhar said:  “Exploring flavours from across the Far East, including Indonesia and Thailand, this new and exciting menu showcases modern Asian cuisine. Incorporating mystical spices with subtle ingredients this menu is inspired by my travels throughout Asia and my love of spice.”

Single cabins

•    18 new single cabins added: 12 outside and six inside
•    Located in the same area as Azura, adjacent to the Exchange Bar on Deck 6, a central location

The Retreat

•    Installation of The Retreat into the forward area on Deck 16
•    The Retreat is a sumptuous open-air spa terrace with sun loungers, a separate pool and stunning sea views, exclusively for adults
•    Passengers can buy a full day pass to The Retreat for a small cover charge

Other changes

•    The atrium features a new dance floor which will host dance lessons day and night with a live band in the evening
•    Ventura is now fully wi-fi enabled
•    The cyberstudy has been converted into the ship’s new library (with some fixed PCs)
•    A new perfumery has replaced the old library
•    A new enomatic wine system has been introduced in Waterside, the ship’s buffet restaurant. This self-service system allows passengers to buy premium wines by the glass, similar to The Glasshouse, by purchasing a wine card on board

P&O Cruises managing director Carol Marlow said:

“This is the latest of several refits to our fleet. Oriana and Oceana have already had multi-million pound investments and Arcadia will be at the end of the year. We are delighted with the changes on Ventura. All of the enhancements have been made following feedback from both existing passengers and potential cruisers. Research showed that speciality restaurants were very important as well as a variety of dining with premium grills, classic fine dining, Asian and Indian menus being the most popular.

“As a result we have added these innovations onto Ventura. We have a new Asian Fusion menu in East, designed by Atul Kochhar and we added The Glasshouse grill and wine bar, both of which have proved so popular on Azura.

“Following the success of the single cabins on Azura and Oriana, we also now have 18 new single cabins on Ventura. This offers an attractive and cost effective option to solo travellers.

“The Retreat has also been a huge hit with passengers on Azura and so we now have the same concept on Ventura. The Retreat offers a private area, exclusively for adults and is the perfect place to relax, unwind and be pampered.

“All in all, these changes are very well suited to passengers seeking a relaxed and contemporary cruising experience – perfect for families, friends and couples alike. We are very excited to have these latest innovations in time for Ventura’s new fly-cruise programme to the Mediterranean next summer. Our passengers can enjoy some of Europe’s most iconic destinations in greater style and even more comfort on our new-look Ventura.”

The changes are reflected in the new P&O Cruises 2014/15 brochure. The new programme, which has significant savings for early bookers, is on sale now.