The battle for British cruise passengers is hotting up, with P&O Cruises introducing a low deposit offer and more onboard spending money.

The move to attract early bookings follows rival Royal Caribbean International putting its wave campaign on sale two months earlier than usual following a trade preview of new ship Quantum of the Seas in Southampton last weekend.

The P&O Cruises £50 deposit offer covers bookings made before November 30 including sailings over Christmas and Easter next year.

It covers Select Price and Early Saver departures outside balance due date of 90 days prior to sailing. Passengers will receive additional on board spending money when booking a Select Price cruise departing between February and May 2015.

Examples include a seven-night Mediterranean fly-cruise over Easter departing April 1, 2015, starting at £949 per person with £240 spending money per cabin.

P&O Cruises marketing director Christopher Edgington said: “This low deposit of £50 ensures customers can bag their dream escape next year without breaking the bank – whether it be an Easter holiday or a Christmas escape.

“If that’s not tempting enough, we’re also giving away free spending money to enjoy on board when you book an applicable Select Price holiday travelling between February and May.”