Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse has been sent to Spain to bring back nearly 2,500 British tourists stranded due to volcanic ash disrupting air travel in Europe.

The 122,000t vessel, with a capacity to carry 2,850 passengers, left Southampton for Bilbao and is expected to return on Friday 23 April.

The Eclipse was supposed to be in Southampton port for inaugural celebrations before a two-day cruise on Thursday 22 April.