P&O Cruises has cancelled the 2013 World Cruise scheduled for Azura (2010/116,000gt) and instead will return her to the Caribbean for a winter programme of fly cruises based out of Barbados. She will be reunited with sistership Ventura (2008/116,000gt), which was the sole P&O vessel sailing full-time in the region during winter 2011-12.
P&O claims that demand for shorter cruises as a consequence of the global economic difficulties, prompted the line to make the change. P&O had earlier claimed that high airfares had weakened demand for Caribbean cruises and had withdrawn the vessel.
P&O’s 2012-13 winter line-up will see Ventura and Azura in the Caribbean, joined occasionally by UK-based Oceana (2000/77,499gt) and Oriana (1995/69,153gt), with Arcadia (2005/82,972gt) and Adonia (2001/30,277gt) on extended voyages and Aurora (2000/76,152gt) on her world cruise.