A CRUISE ship currently moored in Weymouth Bay is preparing to set sail again this summer.

Its owner, P&O Cruises, has announced Ultimate Escape UK holidays this summer, with a series of short breaks on its flagship Britannia.

These cruises will depart from Southampton between June and September, sailing around the UK coast, “where the sun shines brightest.”

Britannia has been predominately moored in Weymouth Bay throughout the coronavirus pandemic, along with other P&O Cruise ship Aurora.

Setting sail from Southampton guests will be able to enjoy the ultimate British break on Britannia and new ship Iona, with gourmet dining and poolside food, cocktails and coffees, shopping, spas, shows and endless sea views on offer.

Dorset Echo: Left to right are Cunard's Queen Victoria, and P&O’s Aurora, Britannia and Azura Picture: STEPHEN BATHLeft to right are Cunard's Queen Victoria, and P&O’s Aurora, Britannia and Azura Picture: STEPHEN BATH

Britannia will offer three and four night breaks and one six night holiday running from June 27, 2021 through to September 19, 2021, which will allow guests to enjoy the South Coast. Prices start from £449 per person for a three night break on Britannia.

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.

Social distancing measures will also be in place, including hand sanitiser stations, and advising people to keep two metres a part and guests must wear face coverings in certain public areas. Guests must also take out travel insurance.

Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board.

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.

Dorset Echo: The Britannia is going cruising again this summer.The Britannia is going cruising again this summer.

“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.”

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.