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P&O Cruises offers Ultimate Escape UK holidays

P&O Cruises offers Ultimate Escape UK holidays this summer and announces details of Iona’s “very special” new maiden cruise to namesake island

P&O Cruises is offering a series of short breaks on flagship Britannia this summer and week-long cruises on new ship Iona. These cruises will depart from Southampton between June and September, sailing around the UK coast, “where the sun shines brightest.” 

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “Given recent announcements we have every hope that our guests will be able to enjoy a holiday this summer. After the stresses and challenges of the past year everyone certainly deserves a treat and this series of cruises will provide memorable and much needed UK getaways. 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. Also, we really will look at the weather forecast each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny.

As the start of Iona’s very special maiden season, the new Ultimate Escape series of holidays includes a memorable seven night maiden voyage sailing around the Scottish islands. Iona will anchor off Iona, the island after which she was named, with a celebratory extended stay until sunset for magical views of the historic shores.”

Setting sail from Southampton guests will be able to enjoy the ultimate British break on Britannia and Iona – gourmet dining and poolside bites; cocktails and coffees; shopping, spas, shows and endless sea views.

Britannia will offer three and four night breaks and one six night holiday running from June 27, 2021 through to September 19, 2021. Iona offers seven night itineraries running from August 7, 2021 to September 18, 2021. Prices start from £449 per person for a three night break on Britannia. Iona’s seven night maiden voyage starts from £1,199 per person.

Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Britannia and Iona will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated* guests only.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and wellbeing measures to protect everyone on board on these cruises. These have been developed with guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies. These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks in certain areas of the ship. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. Our protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests and the communities we visit.  Travel insurance will also be mandatory for all guests.**

Ludlow added: “As we have spent the majority of the last year at home, to be able to have a restorative and relaxing break, sit on deck with a sea view in the summer sunshine and then enjoy an indulgent dinner and show – it’s certainly what we all need this year and we cannot wait to have our guests back on board.”

Example Ultimate Escape itineraries:

Prices for a balcony cabin and subject to availability

Three night cruise on Britannia, from £449

The price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising along the south coast of England.

Four night cruise on Britannia, from £499

The price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising along the south coast of England.

Iona Maiden – Scottish Islands, 7 nights, from £1,199

Seven night cruise on Iona (G126N) from £1,199 per person. Departing August 7, 2021 the price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising to Scotland including the Inner Hebrides and the island of Iona.

Voyage to the sun, 7 nights, from £779

Seven night cruise on Iona from £779 per person. The price includes full board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from Southampton and returning to Southampton with coastal cruising past the Channel Islands and along the coast of France.

The cruises go on sale on Monday March 22, 2021 at 8.30am and will be available to book online on www.pocruises.com or telephone 03453 555 111 or through a travel agent.

Dining

Foodies are spoilt for choice on both Britannia and Iona. The Glass House boasts 40 wines handpicked by wine expert Olly Smith and paired with a delicious small-bites menu. There’s fine dining in beautiful surroundings at Epicurean, and authentic Indian food with a British twist at Sindhu as well as Britannia’s Marco Pierre White Cookery Club. The Market Café on Britannia is full of sweet treats by master pâtissier Eric Lanlard (and Epicurean offers his decadent afternoon tea), while The Beach House is a laid-back spot offering comfort-food favourites.

On Iona, good food is an art form. With 30 different places to eat, there are many exciting new dining concepts including The Quays, piazza-style dining with a lively atmosphere and choices including American diner, Mediterranean classics, Asian favourites or traditional fish and chips. The Keel and Cow is a British gastropub serving speciality aged steaks and for a lighter bite the global dishes at Taste 360 offer an exciting new on-deck dining experience which will include authentic dishes from Spanish chef Jose Pizarro.

Entertainment

Guests can enjoy a variety of entertainment from movies to full-scale production shows, live music to impromptu aerial acrobatics. Iona’s entertainment will reach new heights in SkyDome and its retractable stage presenting top acts, live shows and late-night dancing. In the Grand Atrium there will be aerialists and pop-up performances while Headliners theatre will present contemporary shows mixing song, dance and showbiz glamour. Music-lovers will enjoy The 710 Club catching live sets from renowned music and singing talent. Ocean Studios is the place to be for new releases and classic movies.

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