Book Review: A Photographic History of P&O Cruises

 

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New book illustrates P&O Cruises Australian Heritage.

This newly released photographic book details the story of P&O’s illustrious history through hundreds of rare photographs.

Officially launched by Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry aboard P&O’s PACIFIC PEARL, packed with rarely seen photographs and a thorough survey of P&O’s fascinating history. With story drawn from the only known surviving copy of the P&O board minutes dating back to the 1830’s, the book includes imagery from the Orient Heritage collection owned by Henderson & Cremer.

Authored by Australian historians Rob Henderson, Doug Cremer, Rachelle Cross and Chris Frame, A Photographic History of P&O Cruises focuses on how Australia and pleasure cruising helped shape P&O leading to it becoming one of the most significant and famous shipping lines in the world.

Archivist Robert Henderson said, “I was working for P&O in Sydney when the photographic archive became too large for the company to store. A decision was made to dispose of the collection however I was able to negotiate to save some of the archive and have spent the past 46 years documenting it. It contains many thousands of images, the best of which we’ve selected for publication in this book.”

Also featured are some of the original P&O advertising posters. This one from 1910 depicts the traditional fortnightly service between England and Australia. There were 10 ‘M’ class ships and the Mantua, which is mentioned on the poster, was THE ship to cruise on out of London and Southampton both before and after WWI.

Also featured are some of the original P&O advertising posters.

Author Chris Frame commented, “Rachelle and I met Rob and Doug aboard the Queen Mary 2. I had just finished a lecture about Cunard’s history and the pair approached us to talk about P&O. By the end of the voyage we had agreed to collaborate on this project. Having access to the rare source documents and extensive imagery allowed us to trace P&O’s story from a unique angle. As Australians, it was a great thrill to see how much our country had helped shape the world famous P&O.”

A powerful shot of the Hindi-named KAISAR-I-HIND II from the (Orient Heritage Collection)

A powerful shot of the Hindi-named KAISAR-I-HIND II from the (Orient Heritage Collection)

Speaking at the launch, Ann Sherry, said that over a period of more than 150 years, P&O had been at the forefront of nation building in Australia which was continuing in its leadership of the resurgence of cruising.

An array of amazing photos of liners in the roaring 20's

An array of amazing photos of liners in the roaring 20’s

“Whether it’s the mail steamers of the nineteenth century, the birth of Australian cruising in 1932, the assisted passage scheme that brought a million ‘ten pound poms’ to these shores or contemporary cruising, P&O has always been in the thick of it and leading it more often than not” Ms. Sherry said.

The ARCADIA, incliding a great shot of her passing the Neddles

The ARCADIA, incliding a great shot of her passing the Neddles

One of the world’s most loved cruise lines, P&O Cruises can trace its history back over 175 years. Through an impressive and unique collection of imagery, this book details the history of P&O Cruises and explores the impact P&O had in shaping the British Empire.

The favourite CANBERRA at Southampton, with Cunard's VISTAFJORD

The favourite CANBERRA at Southampton, with Cunard’s VISTAFJORD

With a vast fleet of ocean liners that undertook voyages to all parts of the globe, P&O was instrumental in immigration to Australia and New Zealand, while acting as a gateway to the Far East and India. After the advent of jet aircraft, the venerable company reorganised their services to offer pleasure cruises.

BRITANNIA in the line's new livery in 2015

BRITANNIA in the line’s new livery in 2015

In Australia, P&O held a near monopoly during the 1980s and ‘90s, with their ships Oriana and Fairstar. Today, part of the giant Carnival Corporation, P&O Cruises remains an iconic barnd, offering British-based cruises, world voyages and a specialist Australian subsidiary that sails into the South pacific.

In the appendices there are rich pickings, early postcards, pages of brochures and advertisements plus a thorough and detail fleet List

The appendices are a delight of early postcards, pages of brochures and advertisements plus a thorough and detail fleet List.

This work is a collaboration of decades of study and well worth adding to your collection.

 

Martin Cox

Martin Cox

MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland.Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.
Martin Cox
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