After months of anticipation, the big unveiling of P&O’s new ships  this week showed cruisers that the line is heading for a whole new era.

It’s a world away from the buffet, bingo and sun lounger.

Cruise Passenger was given a guided tour of the Pacific Aria.

The Blue Room’s lush décor of velvet blue chaises, Chinese vases, black armchairs and silver cushions are about contemporary eating and cool watering holes.

Swedish interior company Tilberg Design as well as Vice President Sture Myrmell visited the hippest bars and eateries of Sydney and Melbourne (well, someone had to do it!) for inspiration.

Each area of the ship has been carefully designed and decorated with whimsical animal motifs and statues that have been mixed in with the elegant table lamps and elaborate orchid arrangements.

Pacific Aria’s Penthouse features a large king sized bed, a beautiful dining room and a lounge area, perfect for entertaining.

Adjoining the bedroom is a large walk in wardrobe as well as a separate shower and bathtub.

P&O has also put a focus on new dining options like The Pantry, which has replaced the buffet, the Asian-inspired Dragon Lady and Angelo’s Italian.

Luke Mangan’s signature Salt Grill is back featuring the best Australian produce.

The main dining room has been expanded and decked out with comfortable dining chairs and contemporary crockery and glassware.

The Pacific Aria’s gym is massive, with state of the art equipment and classes like yoga and spin.

Walk out the door and you’re into the pool area with chaise lounges and day beds in chic blue and white stripes.

Head down the stairs to the adults-only Oasis, and you’ll see hanging chairs, lounges and a private pool.

For die-hard P&O cruisers, the revamped ships will be a major change. Now P&O faces the ultimate challenge: matching its passengers to its new ships.