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Britannia and Iona sailings herald P&O Cruises’ international restart

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Iona will begin its Atlantic cruises on September 25 following UK coastal cruises starting in June.
P&O Cruises' Britannia will begin sailing the Western Mediterranean and Iona its Atlantic cruises from September 25, following UK coastal cruises starting this month.

From October, Britannia will reposition to the Caribbean, followed by Azura which – after commencing Atlantic sailings from October 3 – will begin Caribbean fly-cruises from December 10.

Arcadia and Aurora sailings cancelled

Arcadia and Aurora’s planned long-haul cruises are cancelled owing to their ‘length and complexity.’ Neither will sail until next year; a winter sun replacement itinerary for Aurora is soon to be announced.

Noting that UK coastal cruises are nonetheless ‘proving very popular,’ Paul Ludlow, president, P&O Cruises said, ‘As we know, the UK government has developed a traffic light system for holidays abroad this summer. The current situation means that whilst, unfortunately, there will be a number of cancellations of itineraries on some ships, we are looking ahead and planning for the future with vigour.'

He went on to add, ‘We are confident that destinations will soon open up their borders both for UK travellers and also for cruise ships. Spain and its islands and the Caribbean are looking very positive and we are seeing, one by one, countries publicly looking forward to welcoming us back.’ 

Vaccination policy reviewed

Until September 24, the vaccination policy for UK coastal cruises remains that people of all ages must have completed their vaccination course a minimum of seven days prior to sailing or 14 days prior to sailing if an approved single-dose vaccine.

For cruises departing September 25 to December 31, all passengers aged 18 and over will be required to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days ahead of sailing. Passengers 17 and younger will need to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing or will need a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to travel. 

All passengers require a negative COVID-19 test at the terminal.

A future cruise credit applies to passengers who have had their cruises cancelled. 

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