Cruise ship returns to south Devon

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CRUISE ship Arcadia is back off the south Devon coast after being taken out of service for the next few months.

Having spent much of the pandemic moored off the coast, the P&O ship finally returned to service earlier this year.

However, staff shortages across the company led to the cancellation of several Arcadia itineraries until at least July.

Crew from the 84,000 tonne ship have been redeployed to other ships in the fleet while the ship itself has returned to the Bay, visible from Teignmouth.

The ship blasted its horn early on Thursday to mark its return to local waters.

With 11 decks, the ship can carry 2,300 passengers at capacity with 900 crew.

A P&O spokesman said the ‘current and extraordinary’ impact of COVID-19 in the UK, in the wider hospitality, service and airline industry as a whole has resulted in a temporary disruption to crew members available to join the ships.

The next scheduled cruise now is expected to be on July 5.

P&O told passengers: ‘The impact of Covid upon airlines and general disruption has necessitated the cancellations as we need to move crew from Arcadia to other ships in the fleet.’

Arcadia is the fifth largest of six ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. The ship officially entered service with the company in April 2005.

It was a familiar sight off the south Devon coast for most of the pandemic.



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