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80,942 TONS


987 FEET


140 FEET




1 - 94.5 TONS


1- DU-SULZER 12RTA96C DIESEL - 89,640 HP

Southampton was the first of four ships in this class delivered to P&O in 1998 by IHI. Southampton entered service in May, Rotterdam in July, Kobe in September and Kowloon in November. This class of container ship is fitted with 94-ton propellers, the worlds largest at that time. Although not as large as the Maersk S class, they are registered to carry more containers, 6,788 in all. These ships are mainly operated between Southampton and Tokyo via the Suez Canal calling at Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Singapore, Kobe, Nagoya and Shimizu. The voyage from Europe to the Far East normally takes less than 19 days.

P&O Southampton

P&O was founded in 1822 by a partnership between ‘Brodie Mc Ghie Willcox’ a London shipbroker and a Shetland born former navy clerk ‘Arthur Anderson’ who had worked in Willcox's office from 1815. They built up their business by linking Britain and the Iberian Peninsular with sailing ships owned by themselves and steamers they managed for other companies. During the Spanish civil war 1833 - 1839, Willcox and Anderson ran guns and chartered steamers as warships to both sides in the conflict. Their merger with a Dublin ship owner ‘Captain Richard Bourne’ in 1935 led to them running a regular service between London, Portugal and Spain under the name Peninsular Steam Navigation Company. After signing a contract for carrying mail by sea August 22nd 1837, they began investing in new ships to expand their fleet. This lines name was changed to Peninsular & Orient Steam Navigation Company (P&O) after they began running a regular service to Singapore and Hong Kong in 1845. By 1852, they had expanded that service to Sydney/Australia, this establishing their three great imperial routes to India, the Far East and Australia.

P&O Southampton

Before the Suez Canal had been completed in 1869, P&O passengers and cargo had to cross Egypt in horse drawn carriages or camels. This crossing was made more comfortable and faster in the 1850s after P&O built a railway across Egypt. Although P&O had grown steadily throughout the 1800s, they expanded more rapidly in the early 1900s by taking over other companies. This led to them acquiring a fleet of almost 500 ships by the mid 1920s. P&O played a vital role in the two world wars by using their ships to supply Britain with ammunition and food. They lost 85 ships during the First World War and 182 ships in World War Two.

P&O Rotterdam

P&O has invested heavily in cargo ships since World War Two building up one of the largest fleets in the world. They now have a fleet that consists of almost every type of cargo ship ever built. P&O expanded their passenger ship services in the 1950s after the Australian Government began encouraging European citizens to immigrate to Australia. With the emergence of Jet aircraft and the falling numbers of immigrants bringing that service to an end in the early 1970s, P&O began investing heavily in their cruise fleet.

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