P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises have announced that they’re extending their pause in operations for cruises departing from Australia due to the “uncertainty around the return of cruising.”
In that way, P&O Cruises Australia’s voluntary pause will apply to cruises scheduled to depart from Dec. 18, 2021, through to Jan. 14, 2022 (for Brisbane) and Jan. 18, 2022 (for Sydney). Princess’ cruise vacations in Australia and New Zealand have been paused until Jan. 27, 2022.
Princess Cruises Chief Commercial Officer, Deanna Austin, said that it “became apparent” that the cruise line would not be able to deliver planned deployment of the Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess in Australia before they were due to start their “published northern hemisphere voyages.”
“We recognize that guests planning cruises over the popular summer and new year holiday period will be particularly disappointed with the changes, however, we wanted to give guests as much notice as possible so they could plan their holidays with certainty,” Austin noted.
P&O Cruises Australia said it was cancelling its Melbourne summer season, which was “no longer feasible to deliver because of the latest extension.” The cruise line’s President, Sture Myrmell, said that he recognized that the news was “disappointing” to the guests who were planning on sailing over Christmas and New Year.
“(H)owever, we wanted to make this announcement as early as possible to ensure they could plan with certainty for the holiday period … I would like to once again thank our guests for their loyalty and support. We look forward to the day when we can welcome guests back onboard to celebrate these special events on the holiday calendar,” Myrmell said.
Guests booked on a cancelled Princess cruise have the option to move to an equivalent cruise with the benefit of their fare protected on their replacement cruise. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid, plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10 percent of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25) or a full refund to the original form of payment.
P&O Australia guests whose bookings have been affected will be notified of the pause and options available either directly or via their appointed travel agent.