It has been announced that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal will conduct a review of the P&O Cruises fleet as part of The Grand Event on Tuesday July 3, 2012, the pinnacle to celebrations which mark 175 years of heritage.
Her Royal Highness will visit Southampton and join guests on Oriana, the ship named by HM The Queen at its launch in 1995. Following the reception, she will join THV Patricia to conduct the Fleet Review in her capacity as Master of the Corporation of Trinity House.
Each of the seven ships in the P&O Cruises fleet will depart on a Grand Event cruise and passengers on board will enjoy a special deck party to see them off in style with flutterfetti and daytime pyrotechnics from the quayside. They will leave their berths in Southampton in order and process down the Solent into Southampton Water.
The P&O Cruises fleet will then move into formation to pass THV Patricia at Charlie Anchorage and salute HRH The Princess Royal as they are photographed from the air before they sail onwards to their various destinations.
P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said:
“We are honoured to have HRH The Princess Royal visit us on this, one of the most significant days in our history, as all our seven ships gather in their home port on the same day for the first time ever to celebrate 175 years of heritage. As one of our esteemed godmothers* she is intrinsically linked with P&O Cruises and we are privileged that she has agreed to conduct our Fleet Review.
“Thousands of people are expected to line the shores to witness this historical occasion, joining over 15,000 passengers and 6000 crew on board the seven ships.
“I am sure that this magnificent Fleet Review with Her Royal Highness in celebration of 175 years of heritage will go down in British maritime history, providing long lasting memories as we look forward to the next stage in our company’s history, with a new ship being launched in 2015.”
The Grand Event is part of a year of celebrations in 2012, marking 175 years of heritage. P&O Cruises can trace its roots back to 1837 when the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company was awarded the Admiralty contract to carry mail to the Iberian Peninsula and beyond.