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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have gathered together ALL our FAQS here. To find answers to FAQS about our History, Collection or Archive click on the relevant links.

  • My ancestor was employed by P&O onboard one of your ships.  Do you have his/her service record?

    Our archive contains a number of personnel records but is not fully comprehensive. To get started consult our Merchant Seamen Research Guide or  P&O Sea Staff Research Guide for a more clear understanding of the type of material that is available in the P&O Archive and other resources.

  • Do you hold any ship’s log books or crew agreements?

    No. Please refer to our Crew Agreements and Log Books Research Guide for information on how to find these items.

  • Do you have itineraries for voyages made by P&O ships?

    There are a number of items in the P&O Archive that refer to movements of individual ships. Please consult our Ships’ Movements Research Guide to find out more.

  • What if I am unable to find information about a particular P&O ship on your website?

    Our online ship search provides fact sheets for just under 2,500 ships. A handful of P&O vessels have not been included due to limitations on tonnage and vessel ownership. 

    If you require information about a P&O ship which is not listed, please contact us with the vessel name and date of build. One of curators will endeavour to provide you with whatever information we hold on file.

  • What if my ancestor died during a voyage or while employed on a P&O vessel?

    If you believe your ancestor died either during a voyage on a P&O vessel or whilst he/she was employed by the Company, please refer to our Births, Marriages & Deaths Research Guide.

  • I know someone who was either employed on or sailed with one of P&O’s (or a subsidiary company’s) ships. What information will you have about the ship?

    Our online ship search provides fact sheets for nearly 2,500 ships. If you don't recall the precise name of the ship you can use our advanced ship search to help you find our ships by date, type and shipping line.

  • Do you have any information about shipwrecks?

    Yes.That information is recorded on our individual Ship Fact Sheets which are accessible via our online ship search. Typically the fact sheets will contain the reason for the shipwreck (natural disaster or war time loss), general location of the wreck and sometimes the nearest GPS coordinates.

  • Do you have any ship plans?

    There are a limited number of ships’ plans in the P&O Archive. Our archive is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK and can be accessed via their online catalogue. You might also like to consult the National Maritime Museum's own Ship Plans Collection.

  • Do you have a Film Archive?

    Yes. The P&O Heritage Collection has an extensive film archive that features all aspects of our diverse history in shipping. The collection is on permanent loan to Wessex Film and Sound Archive and can be accessed via their online catalogue.

  • What if I have information about a particular ship that I would like to add to your Fact Sheet?

    The information in the Ship Fact Sheets was largely compiled using primary sources in the P&O Archive and may not not cover every notable event in each ship's history. (See attached guide to Ships Fact Sheet). 

    If you have knowledge of a significant event (such as a grounding, a collision, a ship ‘first’ or a distinguished passenger on a voyage) which can be substantiated with documentary evidence we would be delighted to consider it for inclusion in our fact sheets. Please contact us with the relevant details.

Letter from the P&O Archive

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Captain Dunkley helping a P&O passenger

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Have you tried our links or research guides, viewed our timeline, explored our collections and searched our archive at the National Maritime Museum for more information? Still stuck? Use the enquiry form to contact us and we'll point you in the
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