The UK’s leading cruise line, P&O Cruises, has announced it will only allow vaccinated passengers on board its cruises when it resumes domestic sailings in June, and will be operating ‘voyages to nowhere’. The company, which halted operations April last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, says only those who have received both their Covid-19 vaccinations and waited an additional week will be allowed onboard.
The first P&O Cruises departure will be from Southampton on 27th June, however it will not have a particular course and there will be no ports of call as with a usual cruise. Instead, the captain of each ‘voyage to nowhere’ will try to set a course for sunny weather. Britannia will make a series of these types if voyages, with options for both three and four night trips as well as one 6 night voyage. The price for these cruises, including all meals and accommodation, will start at £449.
We’re staying at home— P&O Cruises (@pandocruises) March 17, 2021
So you don’t have to…
New UK getaways on sale at 8:30am on 22 March
New cruises include 3 and 4 night breaks and one 6 night holiday on Britannia and 7 night holidays on Iona, plus her new maiden cruise. pic.twitter.com/w4B3ROML7f
Starting from 7th August P&O Cruises will also operate a series of week-long cruises on its new vessel, Iona. These will include anchoring off her namesake, the Scottish island of Iona, but passengers will not have the opportunity to land. The lowest price for this cruise is £1,199.
President of P&O Cruises Paul Ludlow stated, ‘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.’ Adding, ‘Also, we really will look at the weather forecast for each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny.’
P&O Cruises says that as the UK vaccination programme has made significant progress and guests have shown a ‘strong expressed preference’ for the limited series of UK coastal cruises, the sailings on both Britannia and Iona will only be available for UK residents who have also received both doses of one of the currently approved Covid-19 vaccines being administered.
‘…we really will look at the weather forecast for each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny.’Paul Ludlow, President of P&O Cruises
The cruise line has not yet specified what will constitute as approved evidence for having had the vaccination, although Mr Ludlow told BBC Breakfast ‘a letter from your GP will suffice’. Passengers who are medically unable to have the vaccination will be denied boarding, as well as children who have not had the vaccine, whilst all passengers must show travel insurance, at a cost of £77 a week for a 65-year-old passenger with no pre-existing medical conditions. Any passengers without insurance will also be denied boarding at their own expense. The selection of voyages will go on sale on Monday 22nd March.