After spending two years in warm lay-up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aurora has finally resumed passenger services for P&O Cruises.
Aurora is the fifth cruise ship to resume cruises for British cruise line P&O, welcome guests onboard for the first time in 24 months on Monday in the UK.
Aurora’s first cruise since the pandemic will be a trans-Atlantic no-fly cruise to the Caribbean roundtrip from Southampton.
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The 32-night itinerary includes calls to nine ports in the Western and Southern Caribbean, such as Aruba, Barbados, Tortola and St. Maarten, as well as two Portuguese ports in the Atlantic: Madeira Island’s Funchal and Azores’ Praia da Vitória.
The 1,800-guest Aurora will then sail a Canary Islands and Portugal cruise on April 1st, visiting five different ports, including Lisbon, St. Cruz de Tenerife, Arrecife de Lanzarote and Las Palmas over 12 nights.
Through September, she will sail a series of three- to 21-night cruises to various destinations in Europe, including the Mediterranean, the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic.
The 22-year-old ship was built in 2000 and is one of P&O Cruises’ adults-only vessels. She was refurbished in 2019 for this role, receiving new adult-oriented amenities, in addition to modernized public areas and extra cabins.
All soft furnishings throughout the 76,000-gross ton ship were also replaced, while the Oasis Spa got newtreatment rooms, a thermal suite and steam room.
During the reift, Aurora also received 23 new cabins and new mattresses for all of its cabins.
While UK cruises resumed in June last year, and P&O Cruises resumed operations in mid-2021 aboard Britannia and its new cruise ship Iona, older members of its fleet remained in warm lay-up.
P&O Cruises’ older ships traditionally are deployed on its longer grand voyages and fly-cruise programs, which attract an older clientele, who have not been able to cruise due to travel restrictions in various destinations.
P&O initially resumed with domestic sailings from the UK, only visiting British ports. The cruise line sailed its first international post-pandemic cruise in September, 2021 with itineraries to Northern Europe, the Western Mediterranean and the Atlantic Islands.
Ventura has now also resumed operations with fly-cruises in Europe, while Azura is also back sailing fly-cruises in the Caribbean.
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