P&O Cruises is planning to have almost its full fleet back in operation by the end of the year, with Britannia, Iona and Ventura, while Arcadia and Aurora will only restart next year.
Britannia will begin her planned Western Mediterranean itineraries on September 25th, joining Iona, which will start her Atlantic coast cruises on the same date.
Iona’s Atlantic coast cruises will follow the series of UK coastal cruises beginning in June.
Ventura’s first cruises will be her previously scheduled Atlantic islands itineraries, and will commence from October 3rd.
After completing her Mediterranean season, Britannia will reposition to the Caribbean in October for her winter season as scheduled, followed by the Azura which will begin Caribbean fly/cruises slightly later than published from December 10th, 2021.
Arcadia and Aurora will remain in warm lay up until next year, due to the length and complexity of their previously scheduled long-haul grand voyages.
P&O Cruises has indicated, however, that it is putting together a replacement itinerary for Aurora. She is likely to cruise in a warm climate during the UK winter, offering fly/cruise packages.
“We are very much looking forward to getting Britannia and Iona back to sea for the series of UK coastal cruises… which are certainly proving very popular and then beginning our international re-start as we phase in each of the other ships,” said Paul Ludlow, President, P&O Cruises.
“As we know the UK Government has developed a traffic light system for holidays abroad this summer,” he added. “The current situation means that whilst unfortunately there will be a number of cancellations of itineraries on some ships, we are looking ahead and planning for the future with vigor.”
P&O Cruises’ vaccination policy
P&O Cruises also clarified its vaccination policy, which requires all guests older than 18 years to be fully vaccinated on cruises departing from September 25th to December 31st, 2021.
All guests 17 years old and below who are not vaccinated will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to travel.
All guests, regardless of vaccination status, will also require a negative COVID-19 test at the terminal before boarding. The PCR and COVID-19 test at the terminal will be provided on a complimentary basis.
The vaccination policy for the UK coastal cruises until September 24th, 2021, remains that all guests travelling, of all ages, must have completed their vaccination course a minimum of seven days prior to sailing (or 14 days prior to sailing if an approved single dose vaccine).
P&O moves to ease boarding procedures
P&O Cruises has also announced that it is launching two new initiatives, the My Holiday app and a pre-holiday video guide to help passengers plan for their cruise and navigate the COVID-19 protocols when boarding.
The My Holiday app, available to use free of charge once onboard, enables guests to pre-book dining time, restaurant and entertainment from the comfort of their cabin, sunbed or anywhere else, from their mobile phone or tablet.
Through the My Holiday app guests will also be able to queue virtually for dining, needing only to arrive at their chosen restaurant at the exact time of their requested booking.
In a further move to help guests make the most of their time onboard, ahead of their holiday a new videopresented by TV host and food and wine expert Olly Smith is available for viewing on the P&O Cruises website.
“Olly Smith’s video on our website helpfully guides guests through what to expect this summer. Then while onboard, the My Holiday app is the tool for guests to plan their activities from anywhere on the ship,” saidLudlow.
Guests can also visit the My Holiday desk onboard to assist with bookings or to receive guidance on how to access and use the app.