(3:30 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises restarted cruising yesterday when Britannia departed Southampton for a four night summer sailing around the UK coast.
P&O Cruises ships anchored locally -- Ventura, Arcadia and Aurora -- and those of sister brand Cunard -- Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria -- celebrated with a horn-sounding departure salute as Britannia left at 6pm and sailed down the Solent.
Saga cruises starts today, and Celebrity Silhouette restarts on Saturday (July 3rd), followed by a number of other lines over the summer.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "We’ve been on countdown to this moment and are elated to be welcoming guests back on board. A huge thank you to our guests for their patience as we fully recognise that it’s been a period filled with anticipation and thwarted plans.
"Our restart is a celebration for crew, guests, our staff, Southampton and also the industry as we return to playing our key role supporting the array of local growers, suppliers, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and taxis drivers for whom the cruise industry is so vital."
Britannia will sail a series of three, four and seven night UK coastal cruises until September 25, 2021 when western Mediterranean itineraries will start ahead of the winter Caribbean season.
The line's new flagship Iona, will set sail on its maiden voyage on August 7, 2021 and will then sail weekly seven night scenic coastal cruises, before beginning Atlantic coast cruises.
P&O recently extended the suspension for the rest of its fleet until the following dates: Ventura -- October 3; Azura -- December 10, 2021; Arcadia -- March 27 and Aurora -- April 13, 2022.