The vessel was named by Irene Hays, chair of Hays Travel, the largest independent travel agency in the UK, in a glittering quayside ceremony by the bow of the ship.
P&O Cruises Australia has announced a six-week extension to its suspension of operations. The line will not now return to sailing until September 17th at the earliest.
P&O Cruises is cancelling voyages to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands for the remainder of the year given the uncertainty around borders.
P&O’s new ship, Arvia, will offer a Caribbean maiden season of fly/cruise holidays from home port Barbados and Antigua. The vessel is expected to debut in December next year.
The three-, four- and seven-night cruises, on flagship Britannia and new ship Iona, will set sail from Southampton between June and September.
After cancelling much of its summer season, P&O Cruises has confirmed the details of a series of short breaks on flagship Britannia and week-long cruises on new ship Iona.
P&O Cruises has cancelled all international cruises on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura until the end of August. The line will instead offer a series of trips around the UK.
In a speech at the virtual ceremony P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “The steel cutting marks an extraordinary milestone for the future of P&O Cruises.”
The name of the 184,700 tonnes ship was unveiled through a video reveal made up of outlining the letters in the name in various different locations, all relating to the beach and the seashore.
Guests with bookings affected by the pause extension are being given “as much notice as possible” to provide them with greater certainty around their holiday plans, the line said.
The decision comes as the cruise line and the wider industry continue to work with government and public health authorities on the appropriate time to restart sailing.
P&O Cruises has extended its pause in operations into April. The line said the move was in response to the current uncertainty around European ports of call.