Passengers sailing on the P&O Oriana were forced to stay aboard the ship, despite a planned docking at the port of Southampton, due to the high winds which struck much of the UK yesterday (31 March 2015). The ship’s captain and officials made the decision that it was too dangerous to attempt to dock during the high winds, deciding to weather the storm in the Solent.
The ship was due to dock at 7am, but was forced to remain in the waters until 9pm. P&O confirmed that all the ship’s bars would remain open throughout the day and a full program of entertainment would be provided. Additionally, all guests were invited to enjoy dinner in one of the ship’s restaurants with a complimentary bottle of wine.
Passengers who were due to board the ship in Southampton are to enter the Oriana at noon today, and have been offered a 50% discount on a future cruise. All of the 1,000 passengers who travelled to Southampton for the cruise were put up in hotels and fed by P&O Cruises.
A statement on P&O’s Facebook page explained: “Unfortunately due to the high winds gusting in excess of 50 knots we are unable to move Oriana to a terminal where we could embark passengers safely today.
“Therefore regrettably we have taken the decision to delay the next cruise by 24 hours. Both ports of call will be maintained and passengers will receive a refund of 50% of the price of their holiday.
“Passengers on the current sailing will remain on board until later tonight or tomorrow. We sincerely apologise for the delay and disruption.”
P&O are confident that the adverse weather will not affect the two scheduled port visits in the cruise’s itinerary. The ship is due to visit Guernsey today and Zeebrugge, Belgium on Friday before returning to Southampton on Saturday.
Images By Bo Randstedt (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons