- 1837 – 1929
- 1930 – 1949
- 1950 – 1969
- 1970 – 1979
- 1980 – 1989
- 1990 – 1999
- 2000 – 2012
- All 175 Years
our heritage: 175 years of cruising
This year, we're celebrating 175 years of history.
It all started back in 1837, when the then named Peninsular Steam Navigation Company won the contract to deliver mail to the Iberian Peninsula, and was renamed the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, or P&O.
Although P&O started as a mail company that carried passengers to their intended locations, it soon became clear to founders Arthur Anderson and Brodie McGhie Wilcox, that there was more to this business than just getting passengers from A to B and delivering mail. And so leisure cruising was born with the world's first sole-purpose leisure cruise departing London in 1844, bound for the Mediterranean. Though much has changed in 175 years, it is a source of great pride to us that our founding fathers' historic legacy lives on through us, and our passengers.
This website commemorates our history with thousands of our own historic cruising items, compiled by P&O Cruises' historian Rob Henderson and archivist Doug Cremer. We now welcome all your stories, memories and priceless photographs - after all, we would never have made it this far without you.
tips and hints
To add your stories to the website, you have to sign in and register (If you just want to browse our history you don't need to sign in, just click on the timeline and off you go!).
- Click on the blue 'Your stories' button at the top right of the screen.
- In the pop-up you have different options, such as signing in with Facebook or registering with your email.
- If you haven't registered you can do so by clicking the link at the bottom of the pop-up and filling in the details.
- After this step, you can choose to sign in via Facebook or email.
Adding your stories
Once you're signed in, click on the blue 'My stories' button at the top right of the screen to start adding your memories.
- In the pop-up, there is a brief overview of how uploading works. When you're ready, click the blue 'Start here' button in the bottom right or the 'My stories' tab at the top left.
- This is where the magic happens! Name your story, select what ship it relates to (if known), and add the date of the cruise. You don't have to enter the day if you can't remember that far back! You can use keywords to make your story easy for readers to find and select categories for the timeline display.
- Write up your story in the space provided.
- Click 'Next step'.
- Click on the '+' box to add your photographs, and add the images you want to upload from your computer. Note: You will need the Flash Player to upload images. If you don't have the Flash Payer you can get it here.
- You can caption your images and add keywords and categories if you want.
- To edit your story or add more images, select the blue buttons at the bottom right of the screen.
- Click 'Publish your story' to share with your fellow fans! Don't forget to share your story on Facebook!
- You can edit your story at any time by signing in and clicking the 'My stories' button at the top right side of the home page.
Sharing the site on social media
You can also share this website and your stories with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.
- Click on the Facebook or Twitter logos at the bottom right side of the home page and follow the prompts.
- You can also share your stories from within the 'My stories' section or by clicking on the Facebook icon from within the story when navigating from the timeline. You can even use the method to share other people's stories that you like.
What is the counter on the top right of the timeline?
This shows how many stories have been added to the timeline so far. Come on, add yours and watch the count rise!
How do I get back to the home page?
Just click on the P&O Cruises logo at the top left side of the page to go back to the homepage.
How is the generation bar used?
You can click on a generation that interests you in particular. Once clicked, the timeline will zoom up on the stories specific to that era. The generations are:
1837-1929: Let the holidays begin!
1930-1949: World Wars and Peacetime
1950-1969: The boom times
1970-1979: Pacific Island experts
1980-1989: The floating resort
1990-1999: More bang for your buck
2000-2012: The only way to travel
All 175 Years
What are the coloured circles on the timeline?
These are the categories that stories can be stored under. When a story is uploaded there is an option to categorise it under any of the following headings:
- Activities & Entertainment
- Cabins & Suites
- Crew & Staff
- Fashion & Uniforms
- Family & Friends
What is the timeline?
Once you're inside the website, you'll notice a blue bar across the bottom of the page that's dotted with ship symbols. This is our timeline, where every story is saved, and where yours will go too. There are a few different ways you can explore:
- The generation bar on the right side of the screen divides the timeline into specific eras. Click on the era that interests you to see the stories from that period in time.
- The categories bar across the top can help you find stories that relate to certain interests. Hover over the coloured circles with your mouse to see what the categories are. Click your interests, unclick the ones you don't want or just click 'All' to view every story regardless of its topic.
- You can also search for stories about specific P&O Cruises ships by selecting a ship from the drop-down menu in the timeline. Ships are divided into pre-1960 and post-1960 and displayed in alphabetical order.
- Use the search bar to type in an interest of your own.
- Click on the scrolling bar at the bottom to scroll through the timeline. You can also zoom in and out on specific decades in history to see more stories.
Why are some ships blue and others grey?
On the timeline, the grey ships are stories that we have dug out from our P&O Cruises archives. When you add your very own piece of P&O Cruises history, your story will pop up as a blue ship.
Why do some ships have a '+' symbol on them?
We figure there are so many stories to be told and many will be from about the same time. If a ship has a '+' symbol on it, it means there is more than one story to look at when you click on that ship.