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P&O have just published their itineraries for these two periods, together with details of how to “register an interest”. (This is their usual convoluted procedure by which you actually commit to booking, but don’t make one until you reach your point in the loyalty club pecking order.)

At first glance the itineraries look to be pretty familiar. The headline news is that the summer fly-cruises from Valletta will be done by Azura and not Oceana. Azura will be doing the familiar run of 7-night cruises itineraries from Valletta into either the Adriatic, the eastern Mediterranean or Western mediterranean; stick any two of those itineraries together and you’ve got a 14-night cruise. One big difference between the Azura itineraries and Oceana’s present ones is that Azura will *not* be calling at Venice – instead, her Adriatic itineraries will include a call at Trieste. I’m sure that this is because of the voluntary limit of a maximum ship size of around 90,000 tons that the cruise lines are observing for calls into Venice. (Originally this was going to be an Italian law but was eventually struck down by an Italian court, but as I say, the cruise lines have agreed to stick to the limit on a voluntary basis.)

Oceana will instead be doing a series of cruises during summer 2021 either to the Canary Islands (12 nights), the Iberian peninsula (7 nights) and 2-night short cruises to the Channel Islands. Then in Winter 2021/22, Oceana is scheduled to return to the Arabian Gulf, to run a series of 7 night fly cruises from Dubai. As some will remember I did a 10-night cruise from Dubai this year on Oceana – here’s link to the posts I did about it. These 7 night itineraries are obviously different from the one I did, although they may be similar to the planned winter 2020/21 itineraries – I haven’t really looked. But essentially, the cruises will start and finish at Dubai, and each cruise will feature a full day in Dubai; there will be just one full day in Abu Dhabi; most if not all cruises include Manama, some also include Sir Bani Yas island, some include Doha in Qatar. All of these ports are east of Dubai, but a few itineraries go in the opposite direction and feature an overnight stay in Muscat and a day call at Khasab (both in Oman). I’m sorry that the call at Abu Dhabi has been reduced to just one day – I preferred Abu Dhabi to Dubai, to be truthful. And you could leave out Sir Bani Yas island for me – just a beach with uncomfortable loungers!

Going back to the newly announced schedules, it looks as if Aurora and Arcadia will be spending the year doing longer and more varied itineraries – that’s pretty much the same as is planned for 2020. It looks as if Ventura will be majoring on the Baltic, with some trips to the western Mediterranean; Iona will be sticking to the fjords in the summer and then mainly doing Canary Islands cruises (with some western Mediterranean cruises) in the winter. Britannia will be doing a whole series of western Mediterranean cruises in summer 2021, and then switching to Caribbean fly-cruises in winter 2021/22; Azura will also be doing Caribbean fly-cruises over the winter.

So here’s a summary of the planned itineraries for summer 2021 through to late winter/early spring 2022:

  • Arcadia: individual, varied longer itineraries throughout the period, summer and winter;
  • Aurora: individual, varied longer itineraries throughout the period, summer and winter;
  • Azura: fly-cruises all year, from Valletta in the summer and in the Caribbean in the winter;
  • Britannia: western Mediterranean cruises from Southampton in summer, Caribbean fly-cruises in winter;
  • Iona: Norwegian fjord cruises in the summer, Canary Islands & western Mediterranean cruise from Southampton in the winter;
  • Oceana: Canary Islands, Iberia and short cruises during the summer, then Arabian Gulf fly-cruises during the winter;
  • Ventura: mainly cruises to the Baltic with some to the western Mediterranean during the summer, then Canary Islands cruises during the winter with a couple of long ‘no-fly’ Caribbean cruises from Southampton during the winter.

Here’s a link to the relevant page on the P&O website. be warned – you’ve got to work hard to get the information you want.

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