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17 hours ago, molecrochip said:

The general feeling was that Oceana was either going to become an adults only ship in Summer 2022 or was leaving the fleet. Obviously we now know that the later has already happened.

 

The name was due to be announced in May with on sale in June. Obviously that all changed however I had heard that the official name was being reconsidered. Many have also noted that the P&O website still shows Oceana under choose your ship on the home page. Internally the ship is most certainly still called Gala2.

 

Both Iona and Gala2 are restricted by which ports have LNG capability whether through direct access or bunker ships. As more ports come online for LNG, the range of destinations can expand.

 

It had always been suggested that Gala2 would be a sunshine ship and not based in the UK after summer 2022. The popular vibe was that she would operate a fly-cruise season from the Canaries. 7 days around the canaries followed by 7 days on the Iberian cost / Gibraltar / Morocco. Available to buy as 7 or 14 day cruises.

 

Its worth noting that with P&O aiming at the younger dynamic its felt they are less accepting of 2 days dodgy weather around Biscay and are more accepting of flying. Its also worth noting that if you are in Scotland or north England, you can get from home to ship in say Gran Canaria (via Manchester airport) almost as quickly as you can get from your home to Southampton by road.

 

Personally, I was expecting the ship to go to the Caribbean instead of Azura once Barbados has LNG capacity with Azura maybe doing middle East or winter in the Canaries. There had separately been suggestions that Azura may head off on a world cruise in 2023.

 

I think its worth stressing at this point that a lot has changed in the past 9 months. Not least the perception of who may cruise, the appetite of those who have not cruised before and what will be profitable. This isn't me trying to reverse anything I've said. I'm just acutely aware that the more adventurous growth plans have been trimmed back to ensure good sustainable profit and that may include ship deployments away from higher risk but potentially lucrative plans to attract new markets, towards more traditional, yet profitable, deployments.

 

Gala 2 is due in December with the maiden cruise followed by the Christmas cruise.

 

Thank you for this information, which is indeed very interesting.

 

Regards availability of LNG, can a ship like Iona re fuel solely during the Southampton turn around for her 7 night Fjord cruises or is there a top up somewhere else, like Haugesund which seems a strange port to use?

 

The thought of Azura doing a world cruise in 2023, does seem to mean either Arcadia or Aurora, if not both, will have gone by then.  I assume that decision will be made by P&O dependent upon what the future of cruising brings though.  Out of interest which of those ships do you expect to go first, we would prefer to see Aurora stay longer, but fear she could be the first out?

 

As 70 year olds who live within a 45 minute drive of Manchester airport, I can certainly confirm that a fly cruise is far more appealing than slogging south on what are very busy roads, along with the overnight hotel and dodgy weather at start/end of the cruise.  Train or coach travel is equally unappealing with luggage and although we have used The Baggage Handling Company, I have always felt a little wary things could go wrong, especially as without us being able to contact the courier late one afternoon, they would have missed a pick up from our house.  Must also add that getting older has made us feel that fly cruises, (or departure from a northern port for a cruise north), has become even more appealing than previously and I do not think we will feel otherwise as we get older still.  If flying becomes a problem I do not see why we would want to travel to Southampton, though a local port may be a possibility.   

Edited by tring
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16 hours ago, molecrochip said:

The general feeling was that Oceana was either going to become an adults only ship in Summer 2022 or was leaving the fleet. Obviously we now know that the later has already happened.

 

The name was due to be announced in May with on sale in June. Obviously that all changed however I had heard that the official name was being reconsidered. Many have also noted that the P&O website still shows Oceana under choose your ship on the home page. Internally the ship is most certainly still called Gala2.

 

Both Iona and Gala2 are restricted by which ports have LNG capability whether through direct access or bunker ships. As more ports come online for LNG, the range of destinations can expand.

 

It had always been suggested that Gala2 would be a sunshine ship and not based in the UK after summer 2022. The popular vibe was that she would operate a fly-cruise season from the Canaries. 7 days around the canaries followed by 7 days on the Iberian cost / Gibraltar / Morocco. Available to buy as 7 or 14 day cruises.

 

Its worth noting that with P&O aiming at the younger dynamic its felt they are less accepting of 2 days dodgy weather around Biscay and are more accepting of flying. Its also worth noting that if you are in Scotland or north England, you can get from home to ship in say Gran Canaria (via Manchester airport) almost as quickly as you can get from your home to Southampton by road.

 

Personally, I was expecting the ship to go to the Caribbean instead of Azura once Barbados has LNG capacity with Azura maybe doing middle East or winter in the Canaries. There had separately been suggestions that Azura may head off on a world cruise in 2023.

 

I think its worth stressing at this point that a lot has changed in the past 9 months. Not least the perception of who may cruise, the appetite of those who have not cruised before and what will be profitable. This isn't me trying to reverse anything I've said. I'm just acutely aware that the more adventurous growth plans have been trimmed back to ensure good sustainable profit and that may include ship deployments away from higher risk but potentially lucrative plans to attract new markets, towards more traditional, yet profitable, deployments.

 

Gala 2 is due in December with the maiden cruise followed by the Christmas cruise.

This is such an interesting read. Would love for Azura to do the Middle East.. also the Far East, maybe P&O could venture that far for fly cruises like Marella already offer. 

Edited by joeecco
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19 minutes ago, tring said:

As 70 year olds who live within a 45 minute drive of Manchester airport, I can certainly confirm that a fly cruise is far more appealing than slogging south on what are very busy roads, along with the overnight hotel and dodgy weather at start/end of the cruise

In recent years we have taken a total different approach to you! The hassle of airports, making sure your luggage is underweight, possible early flights which means a night in a hotel anyway,etc has made cruising from the UK more and more appealing to us!

 

Edited by wowzz
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18 minutes ago, wowzz said:

In recent years we have taken a total different approach to you! The hassle of airports, making sure your luggage is underweight, possible early flights which means a night in a hotel anyway, has made cruising from the UK more and more appealing to us!

 

 

We usually arrange our own flights, and make sure we do not have early departures.  Going East we stop off in the airside hotel in Dubai airport, leave at go to gate time the next day, so no loss of sleep at all and an excellent hotel.  Or have stayed a few days to break the flight either there or somewhere else.  In fact if we are to fly from Manchester before mid afternoon, we do stay in an airport hotel as it is just so much better to have a relaxing night, knowing that the house is locked up and the car sorted -  usually in the garage at home since it is cheaper and much easier to get a taxi to the airport if going for more than two weeks, which we usually do.  Regards luggage we tend to split it into three cases and will happily pay a few quid more for extra luggage if needed - a very minor part of the holiday cost.  Always book aisle seats and book fast track/airport lounge as well.

 

Fly cruises also have the added advantage of allowing easy land stays, often with the chance to use a one way cruise as part of the travel, so fly to one place and back from another.  We have comfort and ease of travel to a T now, but everyone will have their own preferences for their own reasons.  We prefer to pay more for that comfort/ease.

Edited by tring
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4 minutes ago, tring said:

 

We usually arrange our own flights, and make sure we do not have early departures.  Going East we stop off in the airside hotel in Dubai airport, leave at go to gate time the next day, so no loss of sleep at all and an excellent hotel.  Or have stayed a few days to break the flight either there or somewhere else.  In fact if we are to fly from Manchester before mid afternoon, we do stay in an airport hotel as it is just so much better to have a relaxing night, knowing that the house is locked up and the car sorted -  usually in the garage at home since it is cheaper and much easier to get a taxi to the airport if going for more than two weeks, which we usually do.

 

Fly cruises also have the added advantage of allowing easy land stays, often with the chance to use a one way cruise as part of the travel, so fly to one place and back from another.  We have comfort and ease of travel to a T now.

All excellent points. 

We have never done the Dubai connection. Our choice, and we have been going to the Far East since the 1990s, was always to get to our destination in one hop, wherever possible. For LH holidays now, we would only fly Club, which does tend to push the price up !  

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17 hours ago, molecrochip said:

The general feeling was that Oceana was either going to become an adults only ship in Summer 2022 or was leaving the fleet. Obviously we now know that the later has already happened.

 

The name was due to be announced in May with on sale in June. Obviously that all changed however I had heard that the official name was being reconsidered. Many have also noted that the P&O website still shows Oceana under choose your ship on the home page. Internally the ship is most certainly still called Gala2.

 

Both Iona and Gala2 are restricted by which ports have LNG capability whether through direct access or bunker ships. As more ports come online for LNG, the range of destinations can expand.

 

It had always been suggested that Gala2 would be a sunshine ship and not based in the UK after summer 2022. The popular vibe was that she would operate a fly-cruise season from the Canaries. 7 days around the canaries followed by 7 days on the Iberian cost / Gibraltar / Morocco. Available to buy as 7 or 14 day cruises.

 

Its worth noting that with P&O aiming at the younger dynamic its felt they are less accepting of 2 days dodgy weather around Biscay and are more accepting of flying. Its also worth noting that if you are in Scotland or north England, you can get from home to ship in say Gran Canaria (via Manchester airport) almost as quickly as you can get from your home to Southampton by road.

 

Personally, I was expecting the ship to go to the Caribbean instead of Azura once Barbados has LNG capacity with Azura maybe doing middle East or winter in the Canaries. There had separately been suggestions that Azura may head off on a world cruise in 2023.

 

I think its worth stressing at this point that a lot has changed in the past 9 months. Not least the perception of who may cruise, the appetite of those who have not cruised before and what will be profitable. This isn't me trying to reverse anything I've said. I'm just acutely aware that the more adventurous growth plans have been trimmed back to ensure good sustainable profit and that may include ship deployments away from higher risk but potentially lucrative plans to attract new markets, towards more traditional, yet profitable, deployments.

 

Gala 2 is due in December with the maiden cruise followed by the Christmas cruise.

An interesting read.  Thank you for posting.

 

Would be nice if Azura did do a worldie in 2023.  We could try for a aft balcony to to replace the one we had on Arcadia's 2021 worldie.

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16 minutes ago, wowzz said:

All excellent points. 

We have never done the Dubai connection. Our choice, and we have been going to the Far East since the 1990s, was always to get to our destination in one hop, wherever possible. For LH holidays now, we would only fly Club, which does tend to push the price up !  

 

I do not know about, 'Club', but if we fly Emirates or Etihad the upgraded flights cost a lot of cash, whilst the options we use are far cheaper and we have been very happy with them as we much prefer to sleep in a bed.  You often find if you go straight onto the next flight, you arrive in the early hours of the morning, so need to pay for an extra hotel night then.  If you do look at the airside hotel I mention, book an executive room as get free drinks (even alcohol), breakfast, and snacks from the bar in the evening (between  about 6-10pm), which can easily be a decent meal when travelling.  Check that still applies though.  There are airside hotels in other airports as well, so worth checking.

 

With a standard package holiday we would want Premium seats if traveling long haul going west and do not mind overnight so much on the return if arrive in UK reasonably early, but even that would need a bit of thought now.  Must admit, I can see the point of flying west and coming back by ship 🙂

 

Edited by tring
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We did our fly cruising and long haul holidays while we were younger and fitter, so I do understand that more fly cruise options would be welcomed by a lot of people. But for us we are now more than happy to drive to Southampton the day before and then have a leisurely drive to the port. So I do hope that P&O continue with enough ex UK cruises to give us a reasonable choice.

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As we live so far down it takes us a good part of a day to get to the airport or Southampton, so travel up the day before by train.   I know there are sometimes flights available from regional airports but they aren't really any help as they are still quite a distance from us.

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Way off topic, but have joined the fly as a last resort gang. Having flown for many years and reluctant to pay for Club or Business, we have decided cruises from Southampton are our choice. 

 

The ship experience is our number one priority, having been fortunate enough to have visited most ports. 

 

Having not holidayed for 18 months, we just want to get onboard a nice ship !

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20 hours ago, molecrochip said:

Its worth noting that with P&O aiming at the younger dynamic its felt they are less accepting of 2 days dodgy weather around Biscay and are more accepting of flying. 

 

When I first read this sentence I thought it would end by saying P&O are less accepting of 2 day dodgy cruises to Zeebrugge or Guernsey, but I guess those are too lucrative when it comes to bar sales?

I'm all for a changing demographic onboard, but the more of those 'weekender' cruises that are offered, the more P&O turns into Carnival Cruises which does nothing for their long term branding and supposed storied history in the industry.

It will be interesting to see what a restart looks like as part of me thinks they're going to offer deep discounts on very short trips to get people out, which typically lends itself to a specific crowd or do they charge a higher price due to limited occupancy?  Somehow I think option #1 will be preferred because even 50% occupancy on Britannia at £56 per person, per night = nearly £100k in fares alone...

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I honestly think that ship sales are done for now. That said, P&O have always seem to look for a disposal rather than have seven/eight ships in the fleet. In 2022, Arcadia will only be 17 however due a dry dock in November 2022. Aurora will be the oldest at 22 so heading in the right age bracket for moving on. She is due her next big dry dock late 2023 - Easter 2024 so logically that may be a guide. to her departure (no basis for saying this - pure speculation). 

 

Interestingly, Aurora has no cruise R119 in 2021. This is 16 days followed by a short-break cruise. This sounds like a drydock but she only had one in March 2019 so it seems to early. It could be a private charter by 16 days seems a lot.

 

I don't see P&O launching far east cruises at present - a risk of being spread too thin. They have Cunard and Princess who can cover off this area. P&O only have one ship doing world cruises because Cunard has sufficient capacity. In the same way that I don't see P&O doing Alaska.

 

I believe, Iona can carry enough fuel for her 7 day Norway trips. When she does her winter trips, I believe Tenerife (or is it Gran Canaria), Barcelona are her main bunkering ports. Its worth noting that Iona uses shore-supply for when in port and does have an amount of diesel capacity.

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8 minutes ago, molecrochip said:

I honestly think that ship sales are done for now. That said, P&O have always seem to look for a disposal rather than have seven/eight ships in the fleet. In 2022, Arcadia will only be 17 however due a dry dock in November 2022. Aurora will be the oldest at 22 so heading in the right age bracket for moving on. She is due her next big dry dock late 2023 - Easter 2024 so logically that may be a guide. to her departure (no basis for saying this - pure speculation). 

 

Interestingly, Aurora has no cruise R119 in 2021. This is 16 days followed by a short-break cruise. This sounds like a drydock but she only had one in March 2019 so it seems to early. It could be a private charter by 16 days seems a lot.

 

I don't see P&O launching far east cruises at present - a risk of being spread too thin. They have Cunard and Princess who can cover off this area. P&O only have one ship doing world cruises because Cunard has sufficient capacity. In the same way that I don't see P&O doing Alaska.

 

I believe, Iona can carry enough fuel for her 7 day Norway trips. When she does her winter trips, I believe Tenerife (or is it Gran Canaria), Barcelona are her main bunkering ports. Its worth noting that Iona uses shore-supply for when in port and does have an amount of diesel capacity.

Interesting to hear Aidanova's captain say that she had enough fuel for 14 days after the bunkering on a recent TV programme. This was only around the Canaries, but it would have included 2 trips to Madeira. So these Excellence ships don't always need to refuel every 7 days.

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1 hour ago, terrierjohn said:

Interesting to hear Aidanova's captain say that she had enough fuel for 14 days after the bunkering on a recent TV programme. This was only around the Canaries, but it would have included 2 trips to Madeira. So these Excellence ships don't always need to refuel every 7 days.

 

If just pootering around the Canaries with short extra hops to Madeira, the knots covered would be well below that for the from/to Southampton route though.  It is the length of time taken to bunker with LNG that I was thinking about as I seem to remember something being said about the overnights on her going south routes were to allow extra the time for that as it is not a quick process.  With just a one day in port for turn around, I was wondering if enough fuel could be taken on in that time, though of course the ships do tend to arrive early in Southampton to allow baggage to be taken off and presumably could sail a bit later.

 

Interesting points about Arcadia/Aurora, but sounds as though it could go either way, may be depend on how reliable they both are as they age, but it would take a lot of sales to even keep the current fleet full when the passenger numbers can increase.  I cannot say I am that optimistic about a large amount of cruise  sales in the next couple of years, though there could well be lots of people raring to go somewhere by then and we will be two of them if this weather continues.

Edited by tring
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The interesting point I took from Moleys last post, is how P&O fits into the overall Carnival offering.

We need to remember that P&O is not an independent company, and as such it has to fit into a global marketing operation. 

Why, for example, would P&O offer cruises in the Far East,  when to do so would just cannibalise UK sales from Princess.

My personal take is that P&O will continue to offer cruises that attract the majority of the UK cruise market, with the odd 5 week cruise to South America,  and a Worldie.

If you want a cruise to Alaska, or the Far East, there are plenty of choices available within the Celebrity portfolio.  

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9 hours ago, wowzz said:

The interesting point I took from Moleys last post, is how P&O fits into the overall Carnival offering.

We need to remember that P&O is not an independent company, and as such it has to fit into a global marketing operation. 

Why, for example, would P&O offer cruises in the Far East,  when to do so would just cannibalise UK sales from Princess.

My personal take is that P&O will continue to offer cruises that attract the majority of the UK cruise market, with the odd 5 week cruise to South America,  and a Worldie.

If you want a cruise to Alaska, or the Far East, there are plenty of choices available within the Celebrity portfolio.  

I agree with most of what you say but it would be nice to be able to visit Alaska or similar without the need to fly!

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17 minutes ago, ann141 said:

I agree with most of what you say but it would be nice to be able to visit Alaska or similar without the need to fly!

If you have the time (and money!) it is relatively easy to visit Alaska without flying, using Cunard to get to the US, and then trains within the US/ Canada.

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3 minutes ago, wowzz said:

If you have the time (and money!) it is relatively easy to visit Alaska without flying, using Cunard to get to the US, and then trains within the US/ Canada.

I heard some people take it as a journey. A very nice route to travel and very nice nature to see. I think this particular route is amazing for the first time travelers. Cant wait to be back on track! 

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I costed a trip like that a couple of years ago (only as a “I wonder”, rather than a definite plan). I’m sorry I can’t remember the details but I recall that the cost was not prohibitive.  
I think I did it after we cruised Alaska from San Francisco and felt we’d like to spend more time in California

 

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22 minutes ago, wowzz said:

If you have the time (and money!) it is relatively easy to visit Alaska without flying, using Cunard to get to the US, and then trains within the US/ Canada.

That's gone through our minds more than once.  Never gone as far as seriously working the cost out though.  Would also have the possibility of cruising to Hawaii as well. 

 

The only limiting factors are time (retired early luckily) and money (hmm lets think about that).

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28 minutes ago, wowzz said:

If you have the time (and money!) it is relatively easy to visit Alaska without flying, using Cunard to get to the US, and then trains within the US/ Canada.

We sailed on QM2 to New York and then to the Caribbean and back this time last year and I realise we could visit other sights by train from New York (We are considering the Niagara Falls) .The main disadvantage is that for dinner men have to wear a jacket every day which means a lot of luggage to carry on several train journeys!(There doesn't seem to be any way of storing some luggage once in New York unless its very expensive)My hubby doesnt like eating in the buffet so we may try a short added journey e.g onto Washington and Philadelphia before being more adventurous!

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5 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

Crikey that would be a long cruise, and extremely expensive.  

I think the really expensive part would be travelling to and around Alaska as our 26 night cruise to NY, the Caribbean and back on QM2 was cheaper than our 28 night cruise on Ventura to the Caribbean(both balcony cabins)

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1 hour ago, ann141 said:

I think the really expensive part would be travelling to and around Alaska as our 26 night cruise to NY, the Caribbean and back on QM2 was cheaper than our 28 night cruise on Ventura to the Caribbean(both balcony cabins)

 

That is not what I would have expected, but I do suspect the OBS bill was a tad more on the QM2.  When we first cruised though we did not buy many drinks, yet enjoyed the cruise a lot.  I assume you would not be able to take any alcohol on Cunard, like with P&O, is that correct?

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11 hours ago, wowzz said:

The interesting point I took from Moleys last post, is how P&O fits into the overall Carnival offering.

We need to remember that P&O is not an independent company, and as such it has to fit into a global marketing operation. 

Why, for example, would P&O offer cruises in the Far East,  when to do so would just cannibalise UK sales from Princess.

My personal take is that P&O will continue to offer cruises that attract the majority of the UK cruise market, with the odd 5 week cruise to South America,  and a Worldie.

If you want a cruise to Alaska, or the Far East, there are plenty of choices available within the Celebrity portfolio.  

No need to look at the Celebrity portfolio for Alaska.  You have Holland America, Carnival, Cunard and Princess all sailing Alaska. About 15 ships offering at least one cruise to Alaska.

 

You tend to find that HAL, Cunard and even Princess to a large degree are very more international focused when travelling Far East or Alaska compared to how they are when doing a typical US voyage.

 

You’ll also notice that Carnival are doing less Med cruises than they used too. Again, no need to tread on toes of Aida, Costa, P&O and Princess.

 

Again P&O UK, Costa and Aida don’t do Australia / New Zealand except for very odd cruises.

 

There is a lot less control from Miami than most believe however there is a lot of go-ordination and best practice.

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