Following the roadmap announced by the UK government on 22 February, which detailed that international travel could not resume before 17 May, P&O Cruises and Cunard have announced that sales for itineraries before 21 June have been halted as the lines ‘await more clarity on likely dates for domestic and international cruising’.
“These cruises have not been cancelled and there is no action required from any guests booked on these cruises,” a spokesperson said. “Should it be necessary to extend our pause and cancel any more cruise dates, then we will advise our guests as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean-owned Silversea Cruises has extended its commission incentive to agents selling its roughly 300 voyage options, with £150 bonus commission available on new bookings departing between 1 October 2021 and 30 June 2022.
“During these unprecedented times, we are proud to continue to support our travel partners with special incentives like our bonus commissions offer,” said Silversea President and Chief Executive Roberto Martinoli. “These initiatives are our way of recognising our travel partners’ ongoing contributions. We look forward to strengthening our already strong relationships in the coming years.”
And, over in Israel, Royal Caribbean has launched its Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship, which will be poised to embark on sailings from Haifa to the likes of Greece and Cyprus from May 2021. In addition, Royal Caribbean has asserted that these will be ‘fully vaccinated sailings’ (with all crew and guests over the age of 16 required to be vaccinated against Covid-19) – to adhere to health and tourism regulations set out by the Middle Eastern country.
In February, British company Saga announced that passengers onboard its Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure cruises would need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Qantas rolls back resumption of international flights
Elsewhere, Australian airline Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas) has had to waylay its plans to recommence flights to international destinations until November due to Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout programme. “We're now planning to restart regular international passenger flights to most destinations from 31 October 2021, in line with the expected timeframe for Australia's Covid-19 vaccine rollout to be effectively complete,” the airline said on its website.
The airline is offering flight credits, refunds and other options to passengers affected by the change – for those that booked flights through travel agencies and third-party websites, Qantas is advising that customers contact these companies directly for assistance.
Qantas adds: “When international flights resume, governments and airlines may introduce requirements for passengers to have proof of a Covid vaccination.”