(11 a.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises' popular adults-only ship Adonia returned to its homeport of Southampton today following a refit, which includes a new restaurant and new entertainment.
The 710-passenger ship, by far the smallest in P&O Cruises' fleet, had been based in the Caribbean for the past 14 months operating under the now defunct Fathom brand, and offering "social impact" cruises.
As well as a stem to stern refurb, the ship will also feature a new dining venue from wine guru Olly Smith -- The Glass House, a fleetwide wine and tapas bar.
Details of the update include:
- A general refresh of soft furnishings to give the ship a lighter look
- The Ocean Grill has a new menu and the buffet is now open seven nights a week
- New shows including, "Magic Moments," a musical show which celebrates great composers such as Burt Bacharach, and a Motown show performed in the Curzon Lounge or on the open deck during deck parties.
- The return of "Relatively Speaking," a play by acclaimed playwright Alan Ayckbourn
- An intimate outdoor cinema on the Lido Deck
P&O Cruises' Senior Vice President, Paul Ludlow, said: "We are delighted to welcome Adonia back into the P&O Cruises fleet. Guests love our bigger ships, but Adonia has always had a special place in the hearts of many of them, who enjoy the intimate and country house hotel feel, the discovery itineraries offered and the refined gentleness of the onboard experience."
Carnival Corp. announced Fathom in June 2015, with the plan being to offer weekly "voluntourism cruises," where passengers would spend up to three days in the Dominican Republic doing teaching English and planting trees, from Carnival's port of Amber Cove. Sailings to Cuba were added in March 2016. However, the line was short-lived -- there simply was not the demand to pay a high price for these types of cruises. Fathom sailed its last cruise earlier this month.
The ship has been in Portland, Dorset, for the past two days for a "cosmetic refit," as a P&O Cruises spokeswoman described it.
Cruise Critic members welcomed the return of the ship. Gadabout60 wrote on the P&O Cruises' boards: "Delighted there is a Glass House which will become my home if MDR is a let down."
Adonia will operate itineraries to Europe, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic islands and further afield to the Caribbean.
Adonia departs Southampton today, June 16, on a seven-night cruise with calls in Bordeaux, Guernsey and Honfleur.
-- By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, U.K.