Travel with Katie Butler: P&O Cruises has released its summer 2026 programme

P&O Cruises has released its summer 2026 programme. Photo: AdobeStockP&O Cruises has released its summer 2026 programme. Photo: AdobeStock
P&O Cruises has released its summer 2026 programme. Photo: AdobeStock
​Do you know what holidays you are going to take in 2025 or even 2026? I often look with envy at those booking so far in advance and I’m amazed that – yes – some people are that organised!

Katie Butler, Total Travel, writes: The launch of the P&O Cruises summer 2026 collection commenced last week, and yes, we took bookings, lots of them!

Along with mainstream holidays, passengers taking cruise holidays is growing year on year, and I can honestly say that first time cruisers tend to come back and re-book another cruise.

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A cruise is the best way to take a holiday and see varied destinations in one holiday, and yes it definitely pays to book early.

Booking early means you you can choose where you want to be on the ship, especially if you have cruised before and know where you like to be.

It also gives you access to the very best deals available.

We have taken a look at some of the deals on offer and have found that a family of four can take a seven night cruise to Norway and the Norwegian Fjords in May 2026 for a total cost of £1,348.

This includes either a free coach to Southampton, or if you prefer to drive – free car parking at Southampton.

It also includes two free child places.

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Karen from our Heckmondwike branch is, at time of writing, on-board this very same cruise. We can't wait to hear all about it. Bargain!

Remember a cruise holiday is full-b oard and so includes all your meals and all entertainment.

There really is something on-board for all the family – with theatre shows, live music, pools and spa facilities to name just a few.

If you have not cruised before, I would absolutely recommend it, but be warned, you are likely to do it again and again.

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This time last year we were talking about huge passport renewal delays due to strikes and high demand, but what a difference a year makes: I mentioned in my column last week, that I had sent off renewals for our family passports and I am delighted to say that after only nine days from applying online for my daughter's renewal we have received her new passport.

I applied on the Tuesday and sent back the old passport the same day, and on Tuesday last week I had a text from Royal Mail advising the passport would be delivered the next day, and low and behold it was. Fantastic service.

However, turnaround times can vary and information on the passport renewal website states: “You'll usually get your passport within three weeks.

"It may take longer than three weeks if we need more information, or we need to interview you.

"We’ll tell you this within three weeks.”

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As expected, last week we saw a rise in cruise bookings due to the summer 2026 P&O cruise launch, and cruise bookings accounted for 22 per cent of our total new bookings.

However, despite so many early cruise bookings, the top month for new bookings to depart remained May 2024.

Turkey was the top-selling destination followed by cruises departing from the UK, and closely followed by Tenerife.