Middle East Cruise News

P&O Cruises’ Arcadia to offer ocean liner-esque cruise from Dubai to Southampton in 2020

P&O Cruises’ 19-night cruise from Dubai to Southampton on March 24th, 2020 is a taste of what ocean liner voyages between Australia and Britain must have been like in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

While P&O’s ships plying between London and Hong Kong would have stopped in Sri Lanka (then called British Ceylon until 1948) and likely Alexandra in Egypt when the country was still a British protectorate, Arcadia’s cruise will instead use Dubai as the key turnaround port on the voyage.


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After a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Dubai, Arcadia will stay overnight at Dubai Cruise Terminal and then depart for England. The entire Hong Kong to Southampton voyage is also available for booking as a 33-night grand voyage.

Like ocean liners of old, Arcadia will take the fastest route possible on her cruise from Dubai to Southampton. She’ll stop in Muscat after departing Dubai, but will then cruise continuously for La Valletta in Malta, spending 9 days and 10 nights at sea.

Queen Mary 2 follows Princess ship through the Suez Canal (left), passengers enjoy the Egyptian view (right) (Image courtesy GlobalWays)

Mid-way between Muscat and Malta, she’ll transit the Suez Canal, though, which is a bucket list cruise experience for most seasoned travellers.

“As the ship goes through the Suez Canal, guests can be out on deck throughout the transit, as it is one of the world’s most fascinating maritime experiences, creating the bizarre impression that they are sailing right through the dry heart of the desert,” says P&O Cruises.


Arcadia’s Dubai to Southampton itinerary.

While it is certainly true that the Suez to Dubai leg of most east-west cruises is necessarily port-lean, the ocean liner-style of Arcadia’s cruise itinerary doesn’t end after she departs Malta. There is just one other stop (Lison, Portugal) before she arrives in Southampton a week later.

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Muscat in Oman will be the other major draw of this cruise itinerary. The ancient capital of Oman has been the meeting point of Asian, African and Arabic civilizations for centuries, and is surrounded by deserts and mountain ranges to one side and the Indian Ocean on the other.

“This unique blend of cultures and landscapes makes Oman a special place to visit and explore,” says P&O Cruises.

Arcadia is an exclusively adults-only cruise ship. At 84,342-gross tons and with a passenger capacity of 1,952 at double occupancy, she is a mid-size cruise ship, and is in fact only the fourth-largest of the seven cruise ships that P&O currently has in operation.


P&O Cruises’ ship Arcadia (image courtesy Ship Spotting)

However, because she is an adults-only ship, there are no kids’ pool areas, no children’s or teens entertainment facilities, and no daycare play areas. This means there is a lot more space for her passengers, and it shows in the ship’s design.

She has four restaurants, 11 bars and cafes, three pools, 5 whirlpools, a huge spa and fitness centre, and a large casino and multi-deck theatre.

Arcadia won’t be the only P&O ship cruising from Dubai in 2020. Her cruise on March 24th, 2020, will come just weeks after Oceana wraps up her second cruise season homeporting in Dubai, cruising roundtrip from the city in the Arabian Gulf.

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