(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri, 18th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –
P&O Cruises has cancelled all its sailings until early 2021, further extending the suspension of its operations because of the continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The British cruise line, which is owned by the Carnival group, has repeatedly put its voyages “on pause”, most recently until mid-November.
All P&O’s Caribbean cruises have now been cancelled until the end of January 2021, and all cruises from or to Southampton have been suspended until the end of February. The company had already cancelled its longer cruises, including a round-the-world voyage, which ordinarily would have departed from Southampton in January.
P&O said that evolving restrictions on travel from the UK made the further cancellations necessary. Paul Ludlow, president of P&O Cruises, said the company was monitoring the situation closely and would reintroduce cruises when feasible.
The company was working with scientists and government on new health measures for use on board when cruises resume. “We cannot wait for restrictions to ease, borders to open and for us to once again be able to set sail for a new beginning,” Ludlow added.
Customers who have bookings on cancelled cruises will be notified, and will receive a full refund or a credit worth 125% of their booking for a future cruise.
Cruising was hit hard in the early stages of the pandemic, when passengers on Carnival’s Diamond Princess were confined to their cabins after hundreds became infected with Covid-19, while other ships also became breeding grounds for the virus.
Carnival cut hundreds of jobs in the UK in May.
Earlier this week, the group reported an almost $3bn (£2.3bn) quarterly loss, as much of its global fleet remains suspended, including its other British cruise line, Cunard.
However, earlier in September Carnival restarted its first cruise in months with a seven-day voyage operated by its Italian subisdiary, Costa. Its German cruise line, Aida, is due to resume sailings in the autumn.
By Joanna Partridge