P&O Cruises has announced that it will be extending its suspension of cruises until November 2020.
The news comes as, at the time of writing, the Foreign Office continues to advise all Brits against cruise ship travel.The cruise line extend its suspension of operations through to November 12, 2020. It also revealed it would cancel two long itineraries which were due to depart in 2021.
Aurora's Caribbean & South America Adventure sailing will be cancelled, as well as Arcadia's World Cruise.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow explained that the cancellations were due to the need for long-term planning of the long-haul itineraries, and the complexities because of the changing border restrictions amidst the pandemic.
Passengers who 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.
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."
The cruise line is due to take delivery of new ship Iona 'before the autumn', with itineraries currently on sale.
Iona was originally due to make her debut in May 2020 on a series of itineraries across the Norwegian Fjords, but due to the pandemic, this was delayed.