P&O has announced plans to build a new 5,200 passenger “next generation” ship, which will be the "most environmentally efficient vessel in P&O Cruises’ history".
The ship, which will be the largest built specifically for the UK market, will be built by Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and delivered in 2020.
The line said it would feature its “”exclusive green cruising design” as one of the first generation of cruise ships to be fully powered by Liquefied Natural Gas – the industry’s most advanced fuel technology, which P&O said would “significantly reduce air emissions”.
It added that it would generate 100% of its power both in port and at sea, meaning it would be "the most environmentally efficient ship in P&O Cruises’ history".
Carnival Corporation said two additional new LNG-powered ships are designated for Carnival Cruise Line, and will be built by Meyer Turku at its shipyard in Turku, Finland, with delivery dates expected in 2020 and 2022.
In conjunction with the order, the delivery dates for the new builds for Germany-based AIDA Cruises and Italy-based Costa Cruises for 2020 will shift to 2021.
P&O Cruises senior vice-president Paul Ludlow said: “These are very exciting times. The number of British passengers taking a cruise in the past five years has significantly increased, boosted most recently by our very successful launch of Britannia last year.
"We know there is still huge potential...P&O Cruises is uniquely experienced in designing ships to meet the specific needs and aspirations of British passengers and the agreement by Carnival Corporation & plc to build a new ship of this size reflects all that our guests and prospective cruisers have been telling us and shows our confidence in the growth of the UK market.
“This ship will be the largest in the P&O Cruises fleet, will have a striking new exterior and interior design and will comprehensively embrace the company’s classic and iconic features. Innovative new guest experiences will be announced soon.”
Carnival Corporation & plcchief executive Arnold Donald added: "We are proud to be at the forefront of introducing LNG-powered ships to the cruise industry, working with our partners to achieve shipbuilding breakthroughs like this that will help us produce the most efficient and sustainable ships we have ever built.
“Every time we launch a new ship, we have a new opportunity to create excitement and show consumers why cruising is a great vacation at an exceptional value, especially for those who typically consider land-based vacations."