P&O Cruises has extended its pause in operations into early 2021, joining several other major cruise lines that have taken the unprecedented step amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK cruise line said that current travel restrictions across Europe for British tourists made the move a necessity.
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“With evolving restrictions on travel from the UK, unfortunately it is necessary to cancel these itineraries,” said Paul Ludlow, President, P&O Cruises.
“These further cancellations vary according to ship as well as complexity and length of itineraries, advice and guidance regarding ports of call and current air availability for fly/cruises,” he added.
The cruise line said it is continuing to monitor the overall situation closely and will certainly reintroduce cruises should the opportunity arise and it is feasible to do so.
All cruises have been cancelled until at least January, 2021.
All Caribbean cruises are cancelled until the end of January, 2021 and all cruises from and to Southampton are cancelled through February, as well as Arcadia and Aurora, which have already been cancelled through to the end of their spring world cruises.
“P&O Cruises is working with several of the most brilliant minds in science as well as government at the highest level” to develop approved and enhanced health protocols, which will be in place once the company resumes sailing, said Ludlow.
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“Whilst adherence to the protocols on board and ongoing vigilance will be critical, this will always be coupled with providing the well-deserved and memorable holidays for which we are known, with all the standout moments on board and experiences on shore. This is what we have always done and will continue to do,” he added.
While a majority of cruise passengers in the major cruise markets of the UK and US have indicated that they plan to cruise again in 2021, global travel restrictions may make it unfeasible.
The UK currently is still “advising against non-essential international travel, except to countries and territories listed. We also currently advise against cruise ship travel” according to the Foreign Office.
There are a number of countries to which UK citizens can travel freely according to UK rules, but in many of those countries they face restrictions such as mandatory COVID tests and quarantines ranging from a week to two weeks.
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