Marco Pierre White, the self-proclaimed godfather of British cooking, is to replace Gary Rhodes as the main celebrity chef with restaurants on board P&O Cruises’ ships.

White, with speciality dining on board Ventura, Oceana and Aurora, will have a new restaurant on new ship Adonia which joins the fleet in May.   

His new Ocean Grill concept will also be introduced to Arcadia and Oriana in place of Arcadian Rhodes and Oriana Rhodes by January 2012. Rhodes has been involved with the company since the introduction of Arcadia in 2005.

The changes are being made following passenger research which found that passengers want a “contemporary style” of select dining.

White’s move onto Oriana comes as the ship is changed in November to be for adults only, with  27 new cabins, including those with balconies and for single passengers,in place of the current children’s areas.

Other changes will see Sorrento, a new Italian restaurant with ocean views and an outdoor dining area, added; the Oasis Spa updated, and the aft children’s pool replaced with a seating area.

Ocean Grill by Marco Pierre White will debut on Adonia and be added to Arcadia during refurbishment in late 2011.

The British cruise market leader also has Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar overseeing a contemporary Indian-style restaurant on board newest ship Azura.

A cover charge will apply in Ocean Grill by Marco Pierre White. Sorrento will be free of charge except for certain items, for which there will be supplementary charges, according to the company.

P&O Cruises’ managing director Carol Marlow, explaining the changes, said: “Recent research has shown that passengers want an entirely different select dining experience to that offered elsewhere on the ship and they also want a contemporary style.

“Marco Pierre White has proved to be a huge hit with our passengers so we have asked him to work his culinary magic on board Oriana, Arcadia and Adonia.

“These ships offer longer itineraries and Ocean Grill by Marco Pierre White will provide an evolving menu to offer a different choice of cuisine throughout the cruise.”