P&O Cruises UK Status Update

P&O Iona

A year after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the cruise industry, P&O Cruises UK is getting ready to re-enter service this summer with a twin-ship deployment in the UK. 

Here's everything that's happened with P&O Cruises UK, a Carnival Corporation brand, in the last year:

Restart with UK Coastal Cruises  

P&O is returning to service with a series of short breaks and week-long cruises around the coast of the United Kingdom.

The company will have two ships operating from Southampton starting in June, the Britannia and the new Iona.

The cruises will be exclusive to fully vaccinated, UK residents and do not include calls at any ports.

Oceana Becomes First Modern Cruise Ship Sold Due to the Pandemic   

Last July, the Oceana became the first modern cruise ship to be sold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Whilst we and many of our guests will miss Oceana, her departure will allow us to focus on our remaining ships in the fleet," P&O’s president Paul Ludlow said at the time of the sale.

While a buyer was not initially named, it was later revealed that the 2000-built vessel had been acquired by Seajets. Renamed Queen of the Oceans, it was the first cruise ship bought by the Greek ferry operator, who subsequently picked up another six vessels.

Newbuild Delivery Scheduled Updated

Originally scheduled for a May 2020 debut, the Iona joined the P&O Cruises fleet several months later. With the pandemic, the construction of the vessel ended up delayed and the delivery was postponed until October 9.

Iona’s sister ship, Arviaalso saw its delivery date adjusted after the pandemic. Being built in the Meyer Werft shipyard, the vessel’s debut was pushed back to December 2022.

New Ship Arvia Revealed

In February, P&O Cruises revealed more details about its second LNG-powered ship, which will be named Arvia.

After entering service in December 2022, the ship will spend its inaugural season in the Caribbean, sailing from Barbados and Antigua.

With a modified design, it will offer a few new features, including a unique high ropes experience as well as a swim-up bar and a new restaurant, Green & Co, featuring Mizuhana serving a plant and fish-led menu.

By the Numbers:


  • Ships shed: -1
  • Ships added: +1

Result: No Change


  • Berths shed: -2,000
  • Berths added: +5,200

Result: +3,200 New Berths

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