A spokeswoman for the line confirmed the delay, telling Cruise Critic.
(9:30 a.m. EST, February 27) -- Oriana has arrived back in Southampton and is undergoing repairs to a broken propeller shaft seal.
A spokeswoman for the line told Cruise Critic that the ship arrived last night (Wednesday, February 26) and the ship is due to depart as scheduled on Saturday (February 29).
(8:50 a.m. EST, February 21) -- P&O cruise ship Oriana is returning to its UK homeport three days earlier than scheduled as a result of a technical problem with its propeller. Passengers can choose to stay onboard until the planned disembarkation date or get off early.
P&O made the decision to cut the cruise short in order to carry out essential repairs to one of Oriana's two propeller shaft seals. This followed an earlier decision to change the itinerary and miss a port of call in the Canary Islands after the 1,800-passenger, 69,000-ton vessel was slowed by the technical issue.
The line is giving passengers the choice of a 100 percent credit to use on a future Oriana cruise through the end of 2015, or a 40 percent cash refund.
"Our decision to bring back the ship early has not been taken lightly and I am sorry that our customers' holiday plans have been impacted," P&O Cruises' director Christopher Edgington said. "I hope that the compensation package we have announced will allow us to welcome all of our passengers back on a future Oriana cruise soon."
In a statement a P&O spokeswoman said: "The repairs, whilst required, have no impact on the ship's safety. Passengers have been kept fully informed of the situation and will be able to remain onboard and enjoy the dining and entertainment offering on Oriana whilst in Southampton until Saturday, March 1."
Oriana, which mainly caters for British passengers, left Southampton on Saturday, February 15, on a 14-night sailing to Madeira, the Spanish islands and Portugal. As a result of the problems with the propeller, the ship arrived late in Madeira, skipped the port of La Palma altogether, and shortened its visit to Gran Canaria.
The ship is scheduled to depart on a 12-night Scandinavia itinerary Saturday, March 1.
-- By Jeannine Williamson, Cruise Critic Contributor