P&O has announced that it plans to extend the ‘rolling pause’ on its cruises across Australia and New Zealand until 29 October (it’s other cruise lines are suspended until 15 October), and that it would be resuming its next season of departures from Auckland in 2021.
“We will continue to use this time to liaise with authorities, public health experts and others in the industry to develop enhanced public health measures for when the time is right to resume sailing,” said Sture Myrmell, P&O Cruises’ President.
Elsewhere, Princess Cruises has also announced the suspension of its cruises in and out of Australia on Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess up to the end of October.
Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ President, said: “We share in our guests’ disappointment in cancelling these cruises. We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise.”
P&O cruises are offering full refunds or future cruise credit, plus onboard bonus credit, to customers, while Princess Cruises are offering customers with affected bookings 100-per-cent future cruise credit, plus a 25-per-cent bonus.
Likely P&O will have been affected by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s decision to issue advice against all future overseas cruises, which had recently been updated. How will the cruise industry recover traveller confidence in the long-term following continuous postponement and cancellation of itineraries? Only time will tell, but comprehensive travel insurance will likely help.