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175 years at sea – discover P&O Ferries’ past


Did you know that P&O Ferries has been in service since the first year of Queen Victoria’s reign? If you’re interested in maritime history, the P&O Heritage website might be of interest to you.

P&O Ferries has an illustrious history, taking in hundreds of ships, crew and passengers since it was set up in the early 19th century. Brodie McGhie Willcox, then working as a clerk, joined forces with Arthur Anderson and Dublin ship owner Captain Richard Bourne and issued the first “Peninsular Steam Navigation Company” prospectus in 1835. Two years later, the new company won the contract to carry mail from the UK over to Spain and Portugal.

Since then, P&O Ferries has operated more than 2,000 ships across many bodies of water. Anyone interested in the P&O History can now head over to the P&O Heritage website and browse official passenger lists and crew records, search for specific ships and view photographs and paintings of ships of bygone years.

There are also online exhibitions, FAQs and a timeline for P&O aficionados to peruse. Many people might, for example, not know that during WWII, P&O group ships were used as troop and hospital ships, and were often attacked by German submarines.

Head over to the P&O Heritage website here.

Remember, you can get fantastic deals on journeys across the channel with P&O Ferries. Why not go on a minicruise to either Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Bruges?

36th Annual Festival international du Cirque de Monte-Carlo


It may be quite a long way down to the Chapiteau de Fontvieille with a P&O Ferry dropping you off at the northerly port of Calais. In fact, you will have to then span the entire country to get down to Monaco. But the Annual Festival international du Cirque de Monte-Carlo is never a thing to miss so why not take a cultural tour through France? Timing is going to be key though – the 36th Monte-Carlo Circus Festival runs from the 19th-29th of January so you’ll have to start preparations soon.

This event is not one to miss, as the original Festival international du Cirque was the first true international circus festival in the western world. This show promises to showcase only the very best the circus community has to offer. It was traditionally presided over by the crown-prince of the Royal Family of Monaco. Since his death Princess Stéphanie now attends the Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo.

At the original event, Prince Rainier stated “This International Circus Festival was created thinking of the circus community, of this family of underestimated people, so that you, attentive spectators of their efforts and of their work, could know them better, and celebrate them better.”

In its rudiments it is a circus showcase with all the best acts outperforming each other in the hopes to win awards – so you’re guaranteed a spectacle as the artists compete for the judges’ (and yours) affection. You can pre-order tickets here.

The show this year will include motorcycle stunts, Spanish clowns, ponies, elephants and jugglers. Early in February the first ‘New Generation’ showcase will be put on display with new acts showing their talents in a competition for young circus acts.

P&O Ferries can get you to France on your journey south to one of the best circus experiences of 2012

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