A beer map of Britain, masterclasses in making chocolate, a showcase of speciality cheeses from around the UK and gin tasting sessions are among new elements to be revealed on P&O Cruises’ ship Britannia.

A contemporary menu of molecular cooking, including flaming jellies, has been promised at the Epicurian fine dining restaurant on board the ship, which enters service next spring.

The additions follow the line introducing its ‘Food Heros’ concept featuring regular onboard appearances by celebrity chefs such as James Martin, Marco Pierre White and Atul Kocchar.

The latest features to be announced follow rival Royal Caribbean International last month unveiling Jamie Oliver as a celebrity chef on board Anthem of the Seas which will be competing with Britannia on cruises out of Southampton next summer.

New features on Britannia will include 70 ales, beers and ciders to create a ‘beer map’ of the UK in Brodie’s bar.

Artisan gin producers have been lined up to supply customised cocktails and tastings at the Blue Bar on board.

Award-winning cheeses from across the UK and Europe will enable the company to offer cheese and wine tastings with TV wine expert Olly Smith in the ship’s Cookery Club.

Leading British chocolatiers will appear on board periodically to give tips on cooking with chocolate.

P&O Cruises marketing director Christopher Edgington said: “Traditionally, people have thought about cruise food quantity; we are all about cruise food quality.

“Our mantra at the moment is ‘think differently’ – particularly where it applies to the quality of food, variety, ingredients used and the expertise we have called upon to deliver this,

“’Think differently’ applies equally to our travel agent partners as well as current and potential passengers. We want to change the way people think about cruising.”