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P&O Cruises to offer 39 winter cruises from Southampton in 2012-13 season

P&O Cruises will operate 39 cruises from the UK port of Southampton in the winter of 2012-13, the company said in a statement, referring to previously announced decision to add the 69,153 gross ton Oriana to the winter cruises programme next year after launching it with the 77,441 gross ton Oceana this coming winter.

“P&O Cruises already offers the greatest choice of ex-UK cruises and next winter will have 39 roundtrip cruises from Southampton from October to April. A growing number of people are keen to holiday in the winter, but don’t necessarily want to fly, so this additional range of cruises from Southampton will increase their options sill further. Convenience is a key booking factor for our passengers, with travelling to Southampton so easy – and then their holiday starts right away,” Managing Director Carol Marlow said in the statement-

Oceana’s second year of winter cruising from Southampton includes, for the first time, two short cruises for Christmas and New Year. These cruises offer the chance to spend Boxing Day in Copenhagen or New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam, for some authentic festive celebrations whilst only being away for four or seven days.

Oriana will offer seven ex-UK cruises including a 10 night Baltic cruise in December calling in popular Christmas market destinations such as Copenhagen and Hamburg; and a 12 night Canary Islands cruise in late January to ports including Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Casablanca.

Last week, Royal Caribbean International said it would discontinue its winter cruises frrom Southampton in 2012-13 and send the 154,807 gross ton Independence of the Seas to Florida instea from November 2012 to March 2013.

In May, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines said it would position the 24,907 gross ton Braemar in Southampton from the winter of 2012-13 and discontine fly cruises based in Barbados. The company will then have two ships based year-round in the UK.

Other companies that offer winter cruises from British ports in the 2012-13 season include Cunard Line, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Spirit of Adventure and Voyages of Discovery.