P&O Plans First-Ever Round-Britain Cruise

April 22, 2008

P&O Cruises, a line that has catered to British travelers for years, will offer a round-Britain cruise for the first time ever in 2009. The unique itinerary gives U.K. cruise passengers a chance to take a vacation at sea while exploring the varied destinations within their own country -- much of which many Brits have never seen.

In July 2009, Artemis will sail an 11-night British Isles cruise. Ports of call include Leith (for Edinburgh), Invergordon, Kirkwall (in the Orkney Islands), Moville (for Londonderry), Greenock (for Glasgow), Dublin, Falmouth and St. Peter Port. Prices for this itinerary start at £1,099 per person.

Round-Britain itineraries are nothing new, but they're not as ubiquitous as Mediterranean or Baltic cruises. Fred. Olsen will offer four U.K. and Ireland cruises in 2008 and eight in 2009. Hebridean offers a variety of Scotland itineraries, with one all-England cruise in November 2008. Princess will offer four summer British Isles cruises in both 2008 and 2009. Crystal, Holland America and Celebrity cruise around Britain just once a year, while Hapag-Lloyd's multiple U.K. itineraries depart from ports on the Continent, necessitating pre- and post-cruise flights for U.K. residents.

For a firsthand account of a round-Britain cruise, take our virtual cruise onboard Oceania from Dover to Dublin.

While P&O's new itinerary will be marketed mainly to UK travelers -- who often need a reminder to travel within their own borders -- Americans will also find the voyages compelling. Instead of touring Europe from a floating outpost of America, U.S. tourists on P&O can experience Britain's lifestyle both onboard and off.

--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor