P&O Cruises reverses decision on Azura winter deployment

P&O Cruises reverses decision on Azura winter deployment

P&O Cruises has reversed a decision to send its newest superliner Azura on a world cruise in 2013.

The line admitted that the economic climate meant it could become difficult to sell an expanded world cruise programme next year.

Azura’s planned sailing was to have been the first by one of P&O Cruises’ two superliners. This winter the company is offering world or extended voyages on four of its smaller ships – Adonia, Arcadia, Aurora and Oriana – visiting 55 countries.

Azura’s 110-night ‘Grand Odyssey’ for 2013 was announced last June, with the ship due to visit 32 ports in 19 countries. Instead three ships - Arcadia, Aurora and Adonia – will run world cruises next year and Azura will sail in the Caribbean.

A P&O Cruises spokesman said: “Based on the success of our recent world cruise programmes, we have added more world cruise capacity for 2013.

“Due to current economic circumstances, however, we are seeing a growing preference for shorter cruises which leads us to believe that it could become more difficult to fill an enlarged world cruise programme next year.

“In order to recognise this situation, we have taken the decision to redeploy Azura from her scheduled world cruise in 2013 and instead operate her in the Caribbean.”

Azura and sister ship Ventura are traditionally deployed in the Caribbean in winter to offer a range of fly cruises.

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