P&O Cruises saw its booking system crash yesterday, March 22, after what it terms ‘unprecedented demand’ for its new UK coastal cruises announced a few days ago. The new itineraries will see the Britannia and the Iona sail around the UK on a series of four- and seven-day cruises and will be restricted to vaccinated UK residents only.
We are very sorry but an unprecedented demand for our UK coastal cruises has caused technical issues with our systems on the website and through our contact centre.
— P&O Cruises (@pandocruises) March 22, 2021
The website was restored to working order by yesterday afternoon, but the company is pleasantly surprised by the interest.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “We always hoped that these domestic cruises would be popular, given the uncertainty around holidays abroad, but we have never before seen such significant and immediate demand and it certainly shows the effects of lockdown and everyone’s need for a holiday.
“Many thousands of guests have already made bookings and Iona’s maiden voyage to the Scottish islands is already very well sold and will be a very special cruise.
“We have spent so long working towards this point and we all just can’t wait to see our ships sailing once again, it’s been a very long year.”
Departing from Southampton from June 27, the cruises will comprise almost entirely of sea days and will offer guests “the ultimate British break,” with “gourmet dining and poolside bites; cocktails and coffees; shopping, spas, shows and endless sea views.” The actual ship’s course will be decided on a daily basis and be dictated by “where the sun shines brightest.”