The recent introduction by P&O Cruises of seven new cruises sailing out of Southampton has been marred by the surprise announcement that the newest of the ships on the routes has been recalled for essential maintenance, causing the cancellation of a New Year’s Mediterranean cruise.
The Adonia, named and launched for P&O in the summer, was due to have set out from Naples on 3 January for a 10-night voyage to Southampton. The smallest of P&O Cruises’ seven ships, the 30,000 GT Adonia, built in 2001, previously sailed as Minerva II and Royal Princess. The 710-passenger vessel is described by the company as a ‘pathfinder’ ship, thanks to its ability to visit smaller ports that are inaccessible to bigger vessels.
The Adonia is no stranger to emergencies: it survived an engine room fire in June 2009 ship during a cruise from Rome to Athens. It also spent two weeks in dry-dock in Grand Bahama eight months ago. The Adonia will now stay in dry dock in Falmouth, Cornwall before departing on 13 January on an 87-night South American Adventure cruise.
A P&O spokesperson for the company said: “P&O Cruises needs to carry out some essential maintenance work to Adonia, and has therefore taken the regrettable but unavoidable decision to cancel a 10-night Western Mediterranean cruise.” Passengers booked on the cruise have been given a full refund and promised a 25 per cent discount on a future booking.
P&O’s seven new cruises due to start in 2012 all depart from and return to Southampton. Itineraries include the Canary Islands, Western Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast. From winter 2012, Oriana, Adonia and Oceana will sail year-round on cruises ranging from two to 35 nights
On 19 December the Oriana returned to Southampton after a month-long, multi-million pound refurbishment to transform the ship to cater exclusively for adults. The re-fit saw the addition of 27 new cabins and the introduction of an Ocean Grill restaurant by Marco Pierre White. The ship is currently on a 17-night Western Mediterranean Christmas and New Year cruise and will depart on a 97-night world cruise on 5 January 2012.
P&O Cruises managing director Carol Marlow remarked: “It is wonderful to welcome Oriana back into the fleet today with a fresh new look including new cabins, new dining options and all exclusively for adults. Oriana is the most established ship in our fleet, having been named by HM The Queen in 1995. Since then she has carried hundreds of thousands of British cruisers all over the world and I know that everyone will be excited to see her after her latest make-over.”
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