Southampton based P&O Cruises forced to clarify it is not linked to P&O Ferries

P&O Cruises 'Iona' travels across a stretch of water. Credit: P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises, owned by Carnival Corporation & PLC, is faced with a growing tirade of abuse as the British public mistakes it for P&O Ferries.

The company which operates from Southampton has been forced to clarify its relationship with P&O Ferries.

On its website and social media channels the company said:

"P&O Cruises is part of Carnival Corporation & PLC and as such is entirely unrelated to P&O Ferries."

"Our thoughts go out to all those affected by yesterday’s news. However, please be assured it’s business as usual on our cruises and our crew look forward to welcoming you on board soon."

It was originally a subsidiary of the shipping company P&O and was founded during a restructuring of P&O's operations in 1977.

P&O Cruises was divested from P&O in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises. In 2003 the company merged with Carnival Corporation.

P&O Ferries, owned by DP World, has faced criticism for the way it sacked 800 workers yesterday (18 March).

It said it lost £100million year on year, which has forced it to make 'swift and significant changes now'.

In a statement, released on Thursday afternoon, it said: "However, in its current state, P&O Ferries is not a viable business. We have made a £100m loss year on year, which has been covered by our parent DP World. This is not sustainable. Our survival is dependent on making swift and significant changes now. Without these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.

"These circumstances have resulted in a very difficult but necessary decision, which was only taken after seriously considering all the available options. As part of the process we are starting today, we are providing 800 seafarers with immediate severance notices and will be compensating them for this lack of advance notice with enhanced compensation packages."