P&O Cruises announced Tuesday it has extended the suspension of voyages through at least November 12 and canceled two long itineraries due to depart in January 2021.
Travelers booked on any of the impacted voyages will automatically receive an enhanced 125 percent Future Cruise Credit (FCC) or can choose to receive a 100 percent refund by filling out a form on the cruise line’s website.
P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow released a statement about why the cruise line has decided to extend its pause in operations.
“As well as cancelling all cruises up until November 12, 2020, we will, sadly, also be cancelling Aurora’s Caribbean and South America Adventure and Arcadia’s World Cruise. Given long-term planning, combined with the complexity and length of these long-haul itineraries and evolving border restrictions, we need to ensure that we adhere to the guidance as it stands. I know that these January cruises, in particular, are holidays of a lifetime and we are so sorry for the disappointment that these cancellations will cause.”
“We continue to work in partnership with public health agencies at the highest level as well as Department for Transport; EU Healthy Gateways and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry association. We will follow all applicable guidelines to enhance our already stringent measures to keep our guests and crew healthy and well and we will not resume sailing until this approved framework is in place. Fundamentally, we will be adopting best practice within the travel industry.”
While the cancellations and updated health and safety policies have forced the cruise line to reevaluate almost every aspect of the business, Ludlow sees positive signs in the industry and believes it will bounce back.
“The good news is that confidence in cruising is strong and we are seeing increasing and significant demand from our guests. We know that the FCO guidance is under constant review and we are hopeful that, as they are aware of the work the industry is doing, this will change before too long.”
“We have invested significantly in new systems and technology to speed up the refund process and to date we have refunded tens of thousands of guests, although it is heartening to see that the majority of our guests have opted for the FCC so they have a holiday to look forward to in the future.”
Ludlow also confirmed P&O Cruises would take delivery of its new ship Iona “before the autumn.”
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