Two jabs needed to enjoy new UK summer cruises


She’s a beauty: P&O’s ship Iona will celebrate her maiden voyage      Picture: Herman IJsseling

Holidaymakers lucky enough to have had both Covid vaccines by the summer can step aboard a P&O cruise. The cruise giant has released details of its UK summer cruises but they will only be available to customers who have had their second jab seven days before departure.

P&O are not the only liner demanding that passengers are vaccinated. Virgin Voyages will insist on the policy when its ships resume sailing in America in May and over-50s specialist Saga Cruises is insisting on proof of the jabs too.

P&O’s full-board cruises, for UK residents only and departing from Southampton, go on sale on March 22 at 8.30am. They include three and four-night cruises around the British Isles, running from June 27 to September 19, and costing from £449. And seven-night voyages on new ship Iona are on offer between August 7 to September 18, from £779. Iona’s maiden voyage costs from £1,199.


Sweeping staircase: P&O Iona’s atrium can be enjoyed by passengers from August

President Paul Ludlow said: “After the stresses and challenges of the past year everyone 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 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.”


Luxurious: P&O’s new ship Iona has cabins and suites for both couples and families


Time to chill: The cocktail bar on board P&O’s new ship Iona with fabulous views out to sea

He added that Iona’s maiden season, the new Ultimate Escape series of holidays, includes a memorable seven-night voyage 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,” he said.

“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.”