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P&O Cruises turns 175
The proceedings were attended by Her Royal Highness, The Princes Royal who attended the official reception aboard the Oriana. Supplied picture

This year P&O Cruises are celebrating 175th birthday. The worldwide cruise company, which began as the Peninsula Steam Navigation Company, has launched a new website to commemorate the celebration and is encouraging all travellers to upload stories, photos and memories of P&O Cruises.

The website already contains a number of historical items which can be traced back over the full life of the cruise company.

On July 3 the celebrations began at Southampton, the cruise line's home, where The Grand Event saw the company's seven ships come together to meet for the first time.

The proceedings were attended by Her Royal Highness, The Princes Royal who attended the official reception aboard the Oriana. HRH The Royal Princess named Aurora in 200 and Oceania in 2003.

P&O Cruises World Cruising managing director Carol Marlow said the event was an historic occasion.

"As one of our esteemed godmothers Princess Anne's presence and the congregation of our entire to celebrate 175 years of heritage will go down in British Maritime history and provide long lasting memories," she said.

P&O is marking its 175th birthday. Supplied picture

The Grand Event is the beginning of a year of celebrations which mark the year when the Peninsula Steam Navigation Company was awarded the Admiralty contract to carry mail to the Iberian Peninsula and beyond.

P&O Cruises is Australia's leading cruise line offering year-round sailing on its three ships. The Pacific Jewel and the Pacific Pearl are based in Sydney while the Pacific Dawn is based in Brisbane. The UK World Cruising ships are the Oriana, the Arcadia and the Aurora. All three ships regularly visit Australia and New Zealand.

To see historical items or upload a P&O memory visit www.175yearsofcruising.com.au or to share memories on Facebook visit www.facebook.com/pocruises