In an acknowledgement of Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance, P&O Cruises has extended its pause in operations until November 12, 2020 and also cancelled two long itineraries due to depart in January 2021.
In the company’s latest video P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “It is clear that whilst the guidance is in place it is not advisable for us to resume operations.
“As well as cancelling all cruises up until November 12, 2020 we will, sadly, also be cancelling Aurora’s Caribbean & 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.
“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.”
Guests booked on the cancelled cruises will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively can fill in the website form for a 100% refund.
Ludlow continued: “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.”
He also confirmed that the company will take delivery of much anticipated new ship Iona “before the autumn.”