P&O Cruises is the oldest cruise line in the world, originating 1822, with the formation of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company. The company first operated a shipping line with routes between England and the Iberian Peninsula, adopting the name Peninsular Steam Navigation Company.
P&O first introduced passenger services in 1844, advertising sea tours to destinations such as Gibraltar, Malta and Athens, sailing from Southampton these were the forerunners of the modern cruise holidays and were the first of their kind. In the opening decade of the 20th Century the company had more than 1,000 ships in its various companies and it eventually became the largest shipping company in the world.
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