P&O was established in 1837 and maintained a schedule of routes to India, the Far East and Australia, being the first choice for the majority of passengers travelling to that part of the world. P&O later took over the British India Line, the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, the New Zealand Shipping Company and the fleet of the British Coast Lines Group.
In 1960 P&O Orient Lines was formed to manage the fleets of both operations and Oriana and Canberra were added to the fleet. Retirements of older vessels were made and others converted for cruising duties to operate from the United Kingdom and Australia. Between 1947 and 1962, P&O had transported 427,983 migrants, with an additional 500,000 following over the next eight years. However, this trade was gradually transferred to the airlines and it was clear that P&O's future was in cruising, with state-of-the-art purpose-built vessels. Princess Cruises were taken over by P&O in 1974 and P&O Princess Cruises merged with the Carnival Corporation in 2003.
Utilising many rare and unpublished images, Ian Collard offers a lavishly illustrated look at the cruise ships operated by P&O Cruises. Included here are images of the ships in many guises and liveries as the author offers an array of superb photographs of these iconic liners.
Ian Collard a well-known local author and has written many books on ocean liners and cargo ships, particularly those sailing out of Liverpool itself. Acknowledged as one of the local experts, he has even appeared on radio to tell of his times as an author. He lives in the Wirral, within sight and sound of the Mersey.