Cruise Line Creates New Sailings After Rescheduled Ship Dry Dock

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Because of a necessary shift in the dry dock schedule for P&O Cruises’ Iona, the cruise line has been able to create two new sailings for the ship to fill in the initial dates of the dry dock.

Guests onboard have a great opportunity to book these new sailings, which will offer new opportunities for travelers to enjoy amazing ports of call.

New Cruises Fill in Former Dry Dock Dates

Just days after two cruises were cancelled for Iona due to a shift in the dry dock schedule, P&O Cruises has released two new sailings for the ship to fill in what was to have been her initially scheduled time out of service for maintenance and upgrades.

Guests currently onboard the 184,089-gross-ton, Excel-class ship have the first opportunity to book the new sailings with special onboard booking benefits and onboard credit offers, but the sailings will be available for all to purchase in the coming days.

Up first is a 5-night sailing departing Southampton on March 13, 2025, visiting Rotterdam for an overnight call and with a port visit to Zeebrugge as well. This makes for a great long weekend getaway and a chance to enjoy one of the newest ships in P&O Cruises’ fleet.

The second new sailing is a spectacular 14-night exploration to the Canary Islands, with additional stops in both Spain and Portugal. First, the ship will visit La Coruna before heading for the tropical islands, where she will visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Puerto del Rosario/Fuerteventura, and Arrecife de Lanzarote.

P&O Iona Cruise Ship
P&O Iona Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Karis48 / Shutterstock)

Funchal Madeira and Cadiz will be further visits as the ship heads back to Southampton. The itinerary also includes five days at sea, giving travelers ample time to enjoy all that Iona – one of the largest ships sailing for P&O Cruises – has to offer.

Depending on which sailing guests book and what type of stateroom they select, they may be eligible for onboard credit or other bonuses as well.

Dry Dock Rescheduled

These new sailings are being made available because Iona was originally scheduled for a “warranty refit” – a type of regular dry dock maintenance common with newer ships – for March 13 through April 1, 2025.

The original dates, however, have become “no longer possible” according to notices sent out by the cruise line, due to shipyard delays. The nature of those delays has not been disclosed, but could relate to supply chain issues, labor shortages, equipment issues, berth availability, or other factors.

P&O Iona Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Edwin Muller Photography / Shutterstock

Instead, the planned dry dock has been moved to October and two cruises were cancelled to accommodate the new maintenance schedule. Guests booked on those now-cancelled cruises will be receiving full refunds, as well as an onboard credit incentive for rebooking on a different sailing on any P&O Cruises ship.

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While Iona has only been in service since August 2021 – her initial sailings were delayed due to the pandemic-related industry-wide shutdown – it is not uncommon for a ship to have a dry dock update every few years. This is an opportunity to refresh flooring, update fixtures, replace worn upholstery, repaint, and do minor technical updates to keep the ship at peak efficiency.

Because this particular dry dock is listed as a “warranty refit” it is likely scheduled within a timeframe where the workmanship on the vessel is still covered by either the shipyard or the materials manufacturer, and these updates may then be at a lower cost.

Iona debuted as the largest ship ever built for the UK market, and along with her sister ship Arvia, is the largest in the P&O Cruises fleet. She can welcome 5,206 passengers aboard at double occupancy, and is also home to more than 1,700 international crew members.

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