Although UK coastal cruises started again in June, coronavirus restrictions have hampered international itineraries, but the company has now announced that Britannia will begin its western Mediterranean cruise on 25 September with Iona starting her Atlantic coast journey from the same date.
"We are very much looking forward to getting Britannia and Iona back to sea for the series of UK coastal cruises – staycations at their best – which are certainly proving very popular, and then beginning our international re-start as we phase in each of the other ships,” Paul Ludlow, President at P&O Cruises, said.
"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 vigour.”
Long-haul destinations are still off the table
Unfortunately, Arcadia and Aurora's planned long-haul cruises from January 2022 have been axed as these trips are more difficult to plan and it’s still unclear what travel restrictions will be in place in the near future. However, P&O said that a replacement itinerary for Aurora, with winter sun appeal, will be announced shortly.
Meanwhile, the company has reviewed its vaccination policy, informing customers that all guests 18 years old and over will be required to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing from 25 September and that all guests must test negative to Covid-19 at the terminal.
Just this month, Royal Caribbean cancelled the first few sailings on Odyssey of the Seas when several crew members tested positive for coronavirus. The ship was due to set sail on 3 July, which has now been put back until 31 July.