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P&O's much-loved Oriana retires - but what will replace her?

04 Jul 2018 | by Ian McAleavy

It’s a sad day whenever an old ship is announced to be retired. Many cruisers hold fond memories of their holidays onboard and are extremely loyal to certain vessels, visiting again and again like your favourite BnB, but with a brand new port of call each day. One such example that will tug on many cruisers’ heartstrings more than most is P&O’s Oriana, scheduled to be retired in August 2019.

However, this is no obituary to another lost ship of the P&O fleet. Over their long rule of the waves, P&O have built, bought and retired hundreds of vessels and Oriana is simply the latest one in the name of progress. We don’t know what will happen to Oriana yet but there is speculation she could join another fleet in the Carnival Corporation. Another possibility is that she will join Azamara Cruises, as similar, previous P&O ship Adonia did to become Azamara Pursuit. This would make sense, having been refitted as recently as 2016 and would surely be fitting to adapt her slightly as a fine addition to Azamara’s fleet of intimate, luxury ships- or maybe a different brand such as Carnival Corporation’s Seabourn. This would give her die-hard fans the chance to enjoy a cruise aboard her in an all-new way, with a slight make-over, without losing what made her so popular in the first place. On the other hand, they can still enjoy classic P&O cruising onboard adult-only ships Aurora and Arcadia.

The really good news though is that this is far from a case of P&O decreasing their cruising options. On the contrary, they have scheduled the building of two brand new, gigantic ships to not only replace Oriana, but also expand the fleet like never before. The first edition is the recently named Iona, scheduled for 2020, who recently had her traditional steel-cutting ceremony. The second is an unnamed ship set for 2022, of which exact details are scarce but for sure she will be a match for Iona which boasts 16 dining options, 24 pools and a host of entertainment venues and facilities other cruise ships simply couldn’t fit.

Oriana’s days flying the flag for P&O may be limited but you can still book your place to see her off in style before then. Meanwhile, registration has already begun for those interested in a cruise onboard Iona- you can even enter our fantastic competition to win a free cruise on her!

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