The UK’s leading cruise line will celebrate the complete return to service this week as the final ship becomes operational on Sunday, March 27. The company will have all six ships in operation around the UK, in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, and the Caribbean.
It’s a moment that many fans of the cruise line will have been waiting for after two years of uncertainty, cruise cancelations, and uncertainty. This leaves a very positive prospect for the cruise line, which expects the arrival of its second LNG-powered Excel-class cruise ship in December of this year.
UK’s Largest Cruise Company Is Back In Service
After more than two years, the UK’s largest cruise line is back to operations. Following the pandemic outbreak, the cruise line paused operations onboard all of its ships, as did all cruise lines worldwide, in March 2020.
Since then, P&O Cruises has been steadily working on bringing its fleet of ships back to service, starting last year with sailcations from the UK with its newest cruise ship, Iona. When Arcadia sails from Southampton to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands on Sunday, March 27, it will mark the complete return to service for P&O cruises.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “We’re back sailing and this is certainly cause for celebration. Sunday is an important milestone as we will have all six ships back in operation and doing what we do best.
Arcadia will be sailing from Southampton, calling in La Coruna, Spain; Funchal on Madeira; La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, and Cadiz in Spain.
Ludlow continued: “We are delighted to be welcoming Arcadia back to the fleet. This ship is hugely popular with our loyal cruisers and I know the captain and team on board cannot wait to sail the fantastic itineraries we have planned for this year.”
P&O Sees Restart Period As Succesful
The fact that the cruise line is now finally coming back at full capacity brings to an end a period that has been uncertain in many ways, both for guests and the company itself. But, the cruise line has experienced a hugely successful summer return with the launch of its flagship Iona and its popular summer seacations onboard Britannia and Iona.
Since then, the ships have spread out. Britannia and Azura sailing in the Caribbean, and Iona in Northern Europe and the Canary islands:
“Britannia and Azura have had a very successful season in the Caribbean from Barbados and will spend the summer in the Mediterranean,” said Paul Ludlow. “Iona has spent her maiden winter months in the Canary Islands and northern Europe and will soon head up to the spectacular Norwegian fjords for the summer of scenic cruising and thrilling adventures.”
“It is evident that our guests are reassured by the steps we have taken to protect their health and wellbeing and that they are delighted to be back on board re-igniting their passion for travel. We all spent so long missing the simple pleasures of great restaurants, beaches and city sights that having them all now makes the holiday experience even better.”
In December of this year, the company will be welcoming its second LNG-powered Excel-class cruise ship. P&O Cruises’ 5206-passenger sister ship to Iona is named Arvia, meaning from the seashore, and will join the fleet in December 2022.
The 185,000-ton ship, which is 345m in length, has been designed with sunshine in mind, whereas Iona has been designed for the colder climates of Northern Europe. Arvia’s maiden voyage will be to The Canary Islands, followed by a winter season of fly/cruise voyages from Barbados in the Caribbean.