The biggest cruise ship ever built for the British market, Britannia, is sleek, contemporary and a haven for foodies, says Cruise International Editor Liz Jarvis

P&O’s new super ship, Britannia, impresses from the moment you see its gleaming Union Flag livery and step into the three-tier atrium. The decor evokes the contemporary style and atmosphere of a boutique hotel, with the spectacular Starburst chandelier setting the tone. This is a glamorous ship, but it’s also laid-back, designed to provide a home from home as you cruise. The use of wood, glass and a colour scheme of nautical blue, cream, soft grey and touches of gold and silver throughout adds to the air of understated elegance.

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The Oasis Spa on board Britannia.

One of the biggest selling points of Britannia is of course its emphasis on food – not only does it have the first British cookery school at sea, but the menus have been designed by the ‘Food Heroes’: James Martin, Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar, Eric Lanlard and Olly Smith, along with cheese expert Charlie Turnbull. They are on selected sailings throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to learn to cook with them and even enjoy an intimate dinner in their company in the evening. The Cookery School has gleaming steel worktops and KitchenAid mixers, instantly creating a Great British Bake Off ambience; and there are cafés and bars galore, including master pâtissier Eric Lanlard’s Market Café, with its glorious selection of exquisite gâteaux (charge applies); and Olly Smith’s The Glass House, a welcoming space to enjoy a glass of wine or bubbly.

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Britannia’s Lido pools.

Restaurants include Atul Kochhar’s speciality restaurant Sindhu; The Horizon Court, which is light and airy and ideal for a quick bite; and the main dining rooms, including the Peninsular and Oriental, which have a cool, elegant vibe.

On the Lido deck the main swimming pool is a good size, and there are large whirlpools and plenty of spaces for relaxing. The Retreat and Serenity pool are luxurious adults-only spaces that promise to be big hitters on sea days.

The Oasis Spa has the same feel as a city spa, with a hot tub/pool and heated beds, plus treatment rooms with ocean views. Britannia isn’t just about grown-up entertainment, though; the kids’ clubs are state-of-the-art.

The cabins are swish, decorated in teal, coffee and cream, with spacious bathrooms and, of course, tea and coffee making facilities.

Britannia is a modern British classic, guaranteed to win the immediate loyalty of everyone who sails on it.

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The decor in Sindhu restaurant on board Britannia.

Britannia by numbers

1,082 ft long

13 restaurants

3,600 passengers

13 bars

1,400 crew

6,000 works of art

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The Retreat on board Britannia.

Whether you’re looking for a cultural holiday or relaxing break, find your perfect cruise here.