Adonia, the smallest ship in P&O Cruises’ fleet, is coming back to the UK after a brief spell chartered to Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand, which was pioneering “social impact” cruises to Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
The 700-passenger vessel will be sailing “discovery itineraries” from June 2017, taking in off-the-beaten-track ports of call across Europe, the Mediterranean, Iceland, eastern Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean.
These include a seven night round-trip tour of Europe’s west coast to the pretty ports of Bordeaux, St Peter Port and Honfleur, and a 14 night Iceland cruise featuring Reykjavik, Isafjordur and Heimaey, plus Killybegs, Klaksvik (Faroe Islands), Portree (Isle of Skye) and Londonderry.
Adonia will then embark on a European summer cruise schedule taking in western Europe, the western Mediterranean, the British Isles, the Iberian Atlantic coast and the Atlantic Islands; before a trans-Atlantic sailing to the Caribbean and a six-month stay for winter cruise itineraries around the Caribbean in winter 2017/18.
In April this year, Adonia’s maiden call in Havana was the first in 50 years for a ship sailing from a US port. Week-long cruises to Cuba alternated with visits to the Dominican Republic, where passengers volunteered to help a number of charity projects.
Carnival now hopes to use a 2,000-passenger ship for sailings to Cuba from next summer, and the Fathom-branded excursions will be offered throughout the company’s fleet at destinations around the world. Other lines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, are still waiting for clearance from the Cuban government, while operators based outside the US – such as MSC and Thomson – make visits to the island without restrictions.
Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises’ senior vice president said: “We are extremely pleased to have Adonia, our well-loved ship, here for our guests beginning with the summer season.
“Our discovery itineraries are perfect for those wanting to try something a little different. Many of our guests have a sense of adventure and are keen to visit lesser-known destinations and experience new sights, taste different foods, learn about new cultures and explore unique cities. A discovery cruise will provide them with the perfect opportunity to try something new that they’ll remember for years to come.”
Other P&O discovery cruises for 2017 include a 12-night voyage on Oriana in search of the Northern Lights from March 6, and a 30-night trip on Aurora to Canada and the eastern seaboard of the US, from August 27. In January 2018, Oriana will depart from Southampton for a 50-night adventure to the Caribbean and the Amazon.