Phased Restart and Further Cancellations (P&O Cruises) – P&O Cruises has announced that they will be increasing their frequency of services in the next few months and they have also outlined plans to suspend new bookings whilst they carry out their refunds.
P&O Cruises has announced that it will begin a phased restart of its Dover-Calais service in the UK and France from June 19th. Ports will be temporarily closed and then re-opened before the pilot period is completed. The company has also announced that further cancellations are likely, with the entire Dover-Calais route due to shut down in September.Cruise launches can take place anywhere in the world, but that doesn’t mean cruise lines don’t still have to juggle the ships’ schedule. Even in the UK, where it has been a holiday for over a month, the sailing schedule is still constantly being adjusted.
P&O UK has announced a deployment and phasing plan for the relaunch in 2023 and early 2023. These include new cruises that were cancelled due to the UK government’s ban on international tourism, as well as new cruises on the flagship Britannia and the newest ship Iona.
UK holidays are popular
The British Staycations programme on board the Britannia has proved extremely popular. Cruises on the ship have sold out through August this year, and the Iona’s first cruises are also very popular.
Both ships will sail to the UK until the end of September this year. Then Jonah and Britain will change course. The Britannia will end her scheduled voyage in the western Mediterranean on the 25th. September and the Iona will sail to the Atlantic coast on the same day.
P&O Cruises chairman Paul Ludlow said:
We look forward to bringing the Britannia and Iona back into service for a series of British coastal cruises – holidays at their best – which will undoubtedly be very popular, and then starting our international relaunch with all the other ships in service.
After a short stay in the Mediterranean, the Britannia will sail to the Caribbean for the winter season, as originally planned. The Iona will remain in Europe, calling at the Canary Islands and ports on the European Atlantic coast.
Photo: P&O Cruises
International trips not yet defined
International cruises are planned, but are not 100% certain yet. Indeed, the British government has not yet opened up the possibility for British tourists to travel abroad, including on cruises. Paul Ludlow:
As we all know, this summer the UK government developed a traffic light system for travel overseas. The current situation unfortunately means that a number of routes on certain ships will be cancelled. We are confident that destinations will soon open their borders to British travellers and cruise ships. Spain and its islands, as well as the Caribbean, are showing a very positive face and we see one country after another rejoicing at our return.
This means that the long cruises aboard the Arcadia and Aurora, which were scheduled to depart in January 2023, have been cancelled. Although a new winter itinerary for the Aurora will be announced soon, the Arcadia will not sail until next year.
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The schedule for each vessel is as follows:
- Jonah: Coastal cruises in the UK from 7. August to 25 September, then cruises on the Atlantic coast from 25. September 2023
- Britannia – British coastal cruises from 27. June to 25. September, followed by a trip to the western Mediterranean on 25. September 2023, followed by Caribbean cruises in October.
- Ventura – Atlantic Island Cruises from 3. October 2023
- Azura – Travel/Cruise in the Caribbean from 10. December 2023
- Aurora – the opening is scheduled for the 13th. April 2023 to the Mediterranean; a change of itinerary in early 2023 will be announced soon.
- Arcadia – currently scheduled to depart on the 27th. March 2023
P&O updates its vaccination policy
The cruise line has also updated its vaccination policy, which now applies to all cruises departing this year. All guests 18 years of age or older must be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure.
All guests 17 years of age or younger must be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure or have a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure.
Guests whose cruise is cancelled will automatically receive a credit for a future cruise in the amount of 125% of the standard deposit and 100% of any additional deposit.