This week saw the sad news that Adonia, one of the most loved ships at sea, is to say a final farewell to the P&O Cruises fleet in March 2018. Like Adonia’s fiercely loyal following, we’re sad to say goodbye to the smallest of the P&O Cruises ships, however we are thrilled to hear that she will be reincarnated and return to the seas as Azamara Pursuit – the new addition to the luxury Azamara Club Cruises fleet. If the loss of Adonia has left you pining for small ship cruising and wondering what your options are, here are four alternatives that are just as appealing to cruisers who prefer their ships compact and bijou.
Since Adonia has set sail for new horizons, word on the street is that Pacific Princess could become cruising’s new favourite small ship. The 680-passenger ship sails some of the most exotic itineraries of any ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, including an indulgent 107-night world cruise each January, plus voyages to lesser-visited Mediterranean and European locales. Like Adonia, Pacific Princess embodies a certain romance that tends to have you hooked from your first time on board. Traditional and sophisticated in style, with plenty of cosy dark wood and country manor-esque interiors, the similarities are almost uncanny. Almost.
Like the P&O Cruises fleet, the Fred Olsen ships attract a loyal fan base, particularly in the case of Balmoral. Whilst it may be the largest ship in the Fred Olsen fleet, Balmoral still accommodates just 1350 passengers and, like Adonia, is small enough to navigate narrow waterways such as the Kiel Canal and the River Seine. Like Adonia, Balmoral plies the waters of the Norwegian Fjords, delving into areas only a small ship can. What’s more, Fred Olsen’s ‘Five Night Fjords’ itineraries sail from regional ports over a bank holiday, so you can see the stunning region without sacrificing your precious annual leave. Keep your eyes peeled for some great Fred Olsen cruise deals too, including offers such as free upgrades to all-inclusive and even 3-for-2 cruise deals on certain sailings.
SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
Over 50s cruising with Saga is anything but old-fashioned and new boutique ship, Spirit of Discovery, is certainly worth considering as an alternative to Adonia from summer 2019 onwards. Like Adonia, the 1,000-passenger ship is exclusively adult-only. Décor will be more contemporary than that aboard Adonia, its design having been inspired by some of the world’s most exclusive modern boutique hotels. Spirit of Discovery itineraries are on sale now and, like Adonia’s, are designed to showcase the very best of the Mediterranean, Europe and more. Whilst fares are admittedly a little higher than P&O Cruises’, they are great value and very inclusive, incorporating everything from door-to-door car service and even travel insurance.
AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES
Adonia will join the Azamara Club Cruises fleet as Azamara Pursuit in March 2018 and if you have contemplated luxury five-star cruising, but were reluctant to leave a familiar favourite behind, this could be the perfect opportunity to give it a go. Much of Adonia’s appeal lay in her ability to visit unique ports which are beyond the reach of bigger ships and she will continue to do the same under the Azamara Pursuit moniker. Azamara Club Cruises takes destination immersion seriously, so you’re guaranteed tempting itineraries worldwide with plenty of late nights in port and overnight stays. Adonia’s existing décor will be updated to match the Azamara’s five-star aesthetic, bringing the ship in line with Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. More information on deployment and itineraries is expected to become available in October.
And if you’re still hooked on Adonia? All is not lost, because limited sailings remain for her final few months at sea, with P&O Cruises promising celebrations galore as she says her final farewell.