(Update: 11:30 a.m. EST) -- P&O Cruises has confirmed that Oceana's itinerary has been altered.
The ship's departure from Southampton was delayed from 5:00 p.m. on Thursday (February 13) to noon on Saturday (February 15). The delay meant the ship, which was originally scheduled to stop in Madeira -- a Portuguese archipelago north of the Canary Islands -- today (Monday, February 17), skipped the stop and is heading directly across the Atlantic for the Caribbean island of Barbados, where it will make a port call in a week's time.
(12:15 a.m. EST) -- A P&O Cruises cruise ship has been forced to delay its scheduled departure from the UK port of Southampton today after the Met Office issued gale warnings for the UK.
P&O's Oceana will remain docked in Southampton at Ocean Terminal and sail tomorrow morning (February 15), according to the line.
It is not yet known if the ship will miss any schedule port calls, though a spokeswoman for the line downplayed the impact of the delay.
A statement from the line said: "We are looking at the itinerary but any impact will be minimal. Compensation will not be awarded in this instance, as our change to the itinerary is due to the adverse weather conditions currently being experienced in the UK and in the Atlantic. The safety of our passengers and crew remains the Captain's priority at all times."
The line said passengers on the cruise have been sent a SMS (where a mobile number was provided) to advise of a delay to sailing. P&O is also providing updates on its social media sites.
"All passengers will receive a letter upon check-in today providing more details and reassurance that the ship will operate a full schedule while in Southampton," the statement said.
Oceana is departing for a 28-night transatlantic cruise, calling in Portugal before heading to the Caribbean and then returning to Southampton in March.
--by Jamey Bergman, UK Production Editor