(2:13 p.m. EDT) -- P&O Cruises announced today it is selling the 45,000-ton, 1,196-passenger Artemis to MS Artania Shipping. The ship will continue to sail for P&O through mid-April 2011.
Although P&O has already signed the contracts, the sale of Artemis will actually be completed on 6 October 2009. Artemis will sail its scheduled cruises for P&O through 12 April 2011. Its final voyage will be a 98-night Asian Grand Voyage, departing Southampton on 4 January 2011 and cruising to the Middle East, Asia and Africa, before returning to Southampton.
Artemis was built in 1984 as Princess Cruises' Royal Princess, and joined P&O Cruises in 2005 as the smallest and most traditional ship in the fleet. P&O's newest ship, the 116,000-ton, 3,080-passenger Azura, will debut in April 2010.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor, with reporting by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor