P&O Cruises cuts Britannia capacity to meet government measures

P&O Cruises is offering future cruise credit or refunds to passengers booked on early summer sailings on Britannia (pictured) to try and reduce the ship’s capacity and bring it in line with government restrictions.

Due to the government’s delay to ‘Freedom Day’ until July 19, cruise lines must stick the lowest of 50% capacity or 1,000 passengers – limits that were due to be relaxed from June 21 before Monday.

P&O Cruises confirmed it has approached “a number of guests” booked on several sailings on Britannia before the same date.

The 3,647-passenger ship is due to resume operations on June 27 and sail six sailings before July 19. However, the line said not all sailings are affected by the government’s decision.

Affected passengers will be contacted directly by the line and offered either a 125% Future Cruise Credit or a 100% refund, P&O Cruises confirmed.

A spokesperson said: “We are so sorry for these guests and do hope they will be able to enjoy a holiday with us later in the summer.”

The line declined to reveal exactly how many passengers were affected by the move.

P&O Cruises’ latest flagship, Iona, is due to sail its maiden voyage on August 7. The vessel carries 5,200 passengers but it remains to be seen whether the ship will sail at full capacity on the cruise which is due to visit Scottish islands including its namesake Iona.

The Scottish government has banned cruise calls over concerns about the spread of the Delta variant. Cruise bodies and travel agents in Scotland have called for clarity on the decision, which they dubbed ‘puzzling’.

More: Dame Irene Hays names P&O Cruises’ Iona in Southampton

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