Recently we needed to copy a Symbolic Link on a disk image we would deploy on an embedded device.
For this reason it was important for us to copy the Symbolic Link and not the file it was pointing to as that link would become valid once the machine would boot from the image.
To achieve that we used
-P which instructs
cp to never follow symbolic links in source. In other words it would not traverse the symbolic link and copy the symbolic link itself.
--no-dereferenceis the same as