A COOKERY club run by TV chef James Martin and other leading cooks will be a feature on a 141,000-tonne new cruise liner which will start voyages next year to UK and Irish cities, including two in Scotland.

The star of the BBC's Saturday Kitchen will join patissier Eric Lanlard to run the cookery classes aboard the P&O Cruises 3600-passenger vessel Britannia.

The ship's restaurants will have creations of chefs Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and Olly Smith.

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P&O Cruises said the ship will sail on its maiden voyage from its home port of Southampton on March 14 next year. The 14-night Mediterranean voyage will include stops at Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome.

After it is built in Italy, the ship's maiden British Isles cruise will be a 12-night voyage starting on July 6 2015 and including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Dublin and Cork.

The opening season for the 1837-cabin vessel includes sailings to the Caribbean, the Baltic and the Canaries.

Britannia will feature a children's club, 13 bars and 13 different places to eat, a spa, a sports arena, four swimming pools, entertainment arenas, a dance hall and an art collection worth more than £1 million. All outside cabins have balconies and there are 64 suites.

P&O Cruises marketing director Christopher Edgington said: "Britannia will introduce cutting-edge design, combined with a range of innovations."