The much anticipated UK domestic cruises from P&O have been released along with all the essential details cruisers need to know. And yes, all guests will need to be vaccinated before their voyage.
This follows our post last week when the cruise line announced that it plans to resume operations in the summer with UK-only sailings. It’s all thanks to the UK government for allowing the cruise industry to open up from May 17, 2021.
P&O Cruises will offer domestic cruises from June 2021 with short breaks on Britannia and week-long cruises on Iona, the fleet’s newest and largest ship. Both will be departing out of Southampton between June and September.
Short UK Cruises on Britannia
Britannia which joined the fleet in 2015 will be much in demand this summer with short breaks. She will sail three and four-night sailings along with one six-night offering starting from June 27, 2021, to September 19, 2021.
The short cruises will depart out of Southampton, England, and will not include any ports of calls. The voyages will allow guests to enjoy the sunshine along the south coast of England.
Worth Reading: 10 Things You Need to Know About Southampton Cruise Port
Week-Long UK Cruises on Iona
The new offerings from Iona will be hugely popular and this will be the first time the brand new cruise ship will sail with guests on board. She has been on hold since being delivered from the Meyer Werft shipyard in October 2020.
Iona will offer seven-night cruises starting on August 7, 2021, to September 18, 2021. Her maiden voyage will depart out of Southampton on August 7 and the ship will offer coastal cruising to Scotland including the Inner Herbrides and the island of Iona!
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:
“As the start of Iona’s very special maiden season, the new Ultimate Escape series of holidays includes a memorable seven night maiden voyage sailing around the Scottish islands. Iona will anchor off Iona, the island after which she was named, with a celebratory extended stay until sunset for magical views of the historic shores.”
There will be another seven-night offering which will give guests the chance to enjoy coastal cruising past the Channel Islands and along the coast of France.
Guests Must Be Vaccinated
Not everyone will enjoy the domestic cruises from P&O as only vaccinated guests from the UK can sail. This is due to the progress the country has made in rolling out the vaccine in recent weeks.
Guests must have received their second dose at least seven days before departure. Proof of vaccination must be provided at the terminal before embarkation.
Related: How Important a Vaccine Could Be for Cruises in 2021
It is important to know that there is no age restriction on the newly announced domestic cruises but all guests must be vaccinated. It’s likely this will lead to mainly adults being able to cruise and kids staying away.
There will be strict health measures onboard developed with guidance from health experts and government agencies. It looks like there is no mandate for the crew to be vaccinated, but they will be tested regularly.
“As we have spent the majority of the last year at home, to be able to have a restorative and relaxing break, sit on deck with a sea view in the summer sunshine and then enjoy an indulgent dinner and show – it’s certainly what we all need this year and we cannot wait to have our guests back on board.”
UK Cruise Industry Opening Back Up
So it’s looking like the UK will be the first country in the world to restart cruising on a large scale. P&O is just one of several cruise lines that are now planning to resume cruises this summer. In fact, Viking Cruises will start even sooner with UK domestic sailings this May.
The Port of Southampton will become a hive of activity during this time as lockdown in the UK eases up and people desperate to travel after more than a year of dealing with the pandemic.
No other country in the world apart from Singapore is yet to allow cruising. The industry in the U.S. remains on hold and Norwegian Cruise Line has already extended its suspension until July 2021.
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