MIAMI, March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- P&O Cruises is offering a series of short breaks on flagship Britannia this summer and week-long cruises on new ship Iona. These cruises will depart from Southampton between June and September, sailing around the UK coast, "where the sun shines brightest." 

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "Given recent announcements we have every hope that our guests will be able to enjoy a holiday this summer. After the stresses and challenges of the past year everyone certainly deserves a treat and this series of cruises will provide memorable and much needed UK getaways. Whilst there is still uncertainty about holidays abroad this summer, we are delighted to be able to offer our guests the ultimate escape here in the UK with the reassurance that we will take care of everything. Also, we really will look at the weather forecast each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny.

"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."

Setting sail from Southampton guests will be able to enjoy the ultimate British break on Britannia and Iona – gourmet dining and poolside bites; cocktails and coffees; shopping, spas, shows and endless sea views.

Britannia will offer three and four night breaks and one six night holiday running from June 27, 2021 through to September 19, 2021. Iona offers seven night itineraries running from August 7, 2021 to September 18, 2021. Prices start from £449 per person for a three night break on Britannia. Iona's seven night maiden voyage starts from £1,199 per person.

Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Britannia and Iona will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated* guests only.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and wellbeing measures to protect everyone on board on these cruises. These have been developed with guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies. These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks in certain areas of the ship. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. Our protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests and the communities we visit.  Travel insurance will also be mandatory for all guests.**

Ludlow added: "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."

Example Ultimate Escape itineraries:

Prices for a balcony cabin and subject to availability

Three night cruise on Britannia, from £449
The price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising along the south coast of England.

Four night cruise on Britannia, from £499
The price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising along the south coast of England.

Iona Maiden - Scottish Islands, 7 nights, from £1,199
Seven night cruise on Iona (G126N) from £1,199 per person. Departing August 7, 2021 the price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising to Scotland including the Inner Hebrides and the island of Iona.

Voyage to the sun, 7 nights, from £779
Seven night cruise on Iona from £779 per person. The price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising past the Channel Islands and along the coast of France.

The cruises go on sale on Monday March 22, 2021 at 8.30am and will be available to book online on www.pocruises.com or telephone 03453 555 111 or through a travel agent.

Dining
Foodies are spoilt for choice on both Britannia and Iona. The Glass House boasts 40 wines handpicked by wine expert Olly Smith and paired with a delicious small-bites menu. There's fine dining in beautiful surroundings at Epicurean, and authentic Indian food with a British twist at Sindhu as well as Britannia's Marco Pierre White Cookery Club. The Market Café on Britannia is full of sweet treats by master pâtissier Eric Lanlard (and Epicurean offers his decadent afternoon tea), while The Beach House is a laid-back spot offering comfort-food favourites.

On Iona, good food is an art form. With 30 different places to eat, there are many exciting new dining concepts including The Quays, piazza-style dining with a lively atmosphere and choices including American diner, Mediterranean classics, Asian favourites or traditional fish and chips. The Keel and Cow is a British gastropub serving speciality aged steaks and for a lighter bite the global dishes at Taste 360 offer an exciting new on-deck dining experience which will include authentic dishes from Spanish chef Jose Pizarro.

Entertainment
Guests can enjoy a variety of entertainment from movies to full-scale production shows, live music to impromptu aerial acrobatics. Iona's entertainment will reach new heights in SkyDome and its retractable stage presenting top acts, live shows and late-night dancing. In the Grand Atrium there will be aerialists and pop-up performances while Headliners theatre will present contemporary shows mixing song, dance and showbiz glamour. Music-lovers will enjoy The 710 Club catching live sets from renowned music and singing talent. Ocean Studios is the place to be for new releases and classic movies.

Note to editors

*Vaccine policy
Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Britannia and Iona will be for UK resident, Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.

For these cruises the definition of "vaccinated" is a minimum of seven days following the second dose of the currently approved Covid-19 vaccines being administered. Proof of vaccination and the dates given will be required (approved forms of evidence will be confirmed closer to time of departure) and this will be required to be shown at the terminal prior to boarding. Failure to provide this evidence will result in denial of boarding. There is no age restriction on this series of UK coastal cruises but all guests of all ages must meet the requirements of the Covid-19 vaccination policy.

All other P&O Cruises holidays currently on sale do not require guests to be vaccinated. 

**Travel insurance
As part of our health and wellbeing protocols it is mandatory for all UK guests to have suitable travel insurance cover in order to cruise with us. Travel insurance ensures that our guests can relax and enjoy their holiday with peace of mind that they are covered for most eventualities. This includes unforeseen incidents before their holiday, while travelling or while they are away. Typically, travel insurance covers cancellation of your holiday, stolen belongings and medical treatment. Insurance documents will be checked at the terminal and boarding will be denied, at guests' own expense, for anyone without appropriate cover. We have partnered with Holiday Extras to offer cruise-specific cover for our holidays. When travelling with us, insurance must include medical and repatriation cover of £2 million minimum that includes cover for emergency evacuations and medical expenses related to Covid-19. To find out more, visit www.holidayextras.com/pocruises or phone 0800 093 3070 and quote PAOHX.

Enhanced protocols
All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and wellbeing measures to protect everyone on board on these cruises. These have been developed with guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists, and in close coordination with UK Government agencies.

In line with our requirement that crew wear face masks on board, guests will also be required to wear a face mask in certain public areas of the ship. Enhanced sanitation measures and social distancing will also be in place. Crew will undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. These protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our policies evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests and the communities we visit.

Sail with confidence with P&O Cruises free flexible transfers, vaccination policy and enhanced well-being protocols

Guests can transfer their holiday as many times as they like before balance due date. The balance is due 30 days prior to the departure date of the cruise. Options include:

  • Transfer the booking to any P&O Cruises holiday currently on sale
  • Transfer the booking to a cruise of higher or lower value
  • Transfer the booking an unlimited number of times
  • Transfer the booking free of charge.

With P&O Cruises flexible free transfers guests can sail with confidence. Bookings may be changed as many times as they like, free of charge up to 30 days before the holiday departs.

About P&O Cruises 
P&O Cruises is Britain's favourite cruise line, welcoming guests to experience holidays with a blend of discovery, choice, relaxation and exceptional service catered towards British tastes.  P&O Cruises fleet of premium ships combine genuine service, a sense of occasion and attention to detail.

In 2021, P&O Cruises will launch Iona its first Excel class ship. The new LNG-powered ship, with 5,200-guest capacity, will be the largest ship built to serve the UK market. Iona will feature enhancements to already successful brand signature venues from the existing fleet, as well as features newly developed for Iona.

P&O Cruises second LNG-powered Excel class ship and sister ship to Iona is named Arvia, meaning from the seashore, and will join the fleet in December 2022. Arvia is an innovative and future-focused ship and will offer outstanding, varied and contemporary holidays. Arvia has been designed to travel to the sun all year-round and to maximise views of the ocean and the seashore from everywhere on board.

With over 200 destinations worldwide, P&O Cruises itineraries are carefully curated to inspire discovery, and are varied to suit newcomers and experienced guests alike. With a wide choice of holidays from two days to three months there is something for everyone. P&O Cruises sails to Australia & New Zealand, Baltic, the British Isles, Canada, the Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, the Far East & Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, South America, the South Pacific, the United States and Western Europe.

The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).  

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SOURCE P&O Cruises

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