UK operator P&O Cruises has resumed operations, with Britannia setting sail from Southampton for the first of a season of round-Britain cruises.
P&O Cruises ships anchored locally, Ventura, Arcadia and Aurora, and those of sister brand Cunard, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, celebrated the occasion with a horn-sounding departure salute as Britannia left the port of Southampton at 6pm on Sunday evening and sailed down the Solent.
Britannia will sail a series of three-, four- and seven-night UK coastal cruises until September 25, 2021 when western Mediterranean itineraries will commence prior to the ship’s winter Caribbean season.
Iona’s maiden voyage will be on August 7, 2021 and the ship will then sail weekly seven night scenic coastal cruises, before beginning Atlantic coast holidays.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “We’ve been on countdown to this moment.
“Our restart is a celebration for crew, guests, our staff, Southampton and also the industry as we return to playing our key role supporting the array of local growers, suppliers, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and taxis drivers for whom the cruise industry is so vital.”