P&O Cruises Australia is extending its pause in guest operations until the end of July 2021, the cruise line has announced in a press release. The current rolling pause will affect cruises scheduled from June 18 to July 30, 2021 (inclusive).
According to the press release, P&O Cruises is also cancelling voyages to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands for the remainder of 2021 given the uncertainty around borders. This also affects this year’s Cairns season where Pacific Explorer was to be based for two months from October, the cruise line said.
Guests and travel agents will be contacted directly with solutions and alternative arrangements that will be tailored on a booking-by-booking basis, P&O wrote.
“We are sorry that some of our guests will be unavoidably inconvenienced by these changes to the existing schedule at a time when we remain optimistic about returning to service as society keeps opening up,” President of P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said. “We are continuing our discussions with governments and health authorities to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruising.”
“As those discussions continue, today’s changes are necessary as we take a practical approach to the current environment and continue to look forward to better days ahead,” he added.
Myrmell said the cruise line was writing to guests affected by the extended pause and the other operational changes to apologize for the disruption to their holiday plans and to let them know of alternative arrangements. P&O Cruises said it has continued its fleet transformation so that it is ready to resume when the industry returns to service.
“This includes preparing for Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure to join the P&O fleet this year to offer a very special cruising experience when we are again able to sail,” Myrmell said.
“As always, we thank our guests for their patience and understanding in relation to these changes, and especially for their continued loyalty to P&O Cruises. Our onboard teams can’t wait to welcome guests to offer them the amazing cruise holiday experiences for which they are so renowned,” he added.