Rescheduled Cruise Ship Dry Dock Results in Cancellations

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Shipyard delays have dashed the hopes of passengers looking forward to setting sail on P&O Cruises’ Iona. Initially slated for refurbishment in March 2025, Iona’s overhaul has been pushed back to October 2025.

Iona Refurbishment Rescheduled

P&O Cruises announced delays in Iona’s refurbishment will cause a cancellation of two slated cruises in October 2025. In an email sent to passengers booked on Iona’s October 18, 2025, cruise to Spain and Portugal, P&O Cruises stated the cruise is “no longer possible.”

”We’re really sorry to inform you that your holiday departing 18 October 2025 is no longer going to be possible due to a necessary reschedule of Iona’s planned refit,” the email from P&O Cruises to passengers read.

P&O, which is owned by Carnival Corporation, continued to announce the bookings were cancelled, and passengers would receive a full refund. Those booked on Iona’s October 4, 2025, sailing received the same notice.

”We understand this news is disappointing and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Iona, a 184,000-gross-ton, 5,200-passenger Excellence-class ship, debuted during the Pandemic in 2020. Delivered from Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, the ship’s inaugural cruise was delayed until 2021.

P&O Iona Cruise Ship
P&O Iona Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: P.Cartwright)

The first ship built by P&O Cruises in 20 years, Iona was the first LNG-powered British cruise ship and the largest built for the UK market. According to The Insider, Iona was scheduled to begin a warranty refit between March 13 and end April 1, 2025.

At this time, a gap still remains on the cruise line’s booking engine after the vessel’s return to Southampton at the end of a 12-night on March 13, 2025. It’s not clear if P&O will offer new cruises, now that the dry dock has been rescheduled.

Impacted P&O Iona Sailings

Iona’s October 4, 2025 cruise was meant to be a 14-night round trip voyage from Southampton, England, to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands.

The ship’s October 18, 2025 sailing, also a roundtrip from Southampton, was scheduled to be a 7-night “Northern European City Escape.” This cruise would visit Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, Holland; and Zeebrugge, Belgium.

P&O has not cancelled Iona’s October 25, 2025, anticipating the completion of her refresh ahead of the 7-night “Spain and France” cruise. The first cruise post-refurbishment will visit Bilbao, La Coruna, and Vigo, Spain, and Cherbourg, France, as Iona sails roundtrip from Southampton.

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

While P&O Cruises did not rebook affected passengers on a later cruise or announce a reschedule of the two cancelled routes, it did reveal an incentive for passengers to rebook.

Along with the full refund, passengers will also receive £100 per person onboard credit on a newly booked cruise on P&O Cruises, capped at two passengers booked in the same cabin.

Read Also: P&O Cruises Reveals Major Investment in Adult-Only Ships

Although details about the delay have not been announced, P&O Cruises has two additional ships currently undergoing multi-million-pound updates.

The 2,388-passenger, 85,000-gross-ton Arcadia, and the 1,868-passenger, 76,152-gross-ton Aurora, are slated to be complete in November 2024 and April 2025, respectively. The delays to Iona’s refresh could be an indication that work on Arcadia and Aurora may be delayed.

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