P&O Cruises Australia declared that they would pause cruise operations until mid-December. The executives attributed the extension to the ongoing uncertainty globally due to the COVID19 pandemic.
This pause in operations applies to all P&O Cruises Australia ships for the departures on or before 17 December 2021. The cruise line reiterated that their guests’ health, safety, and well-being is a top priority. In addition, the cruise line has cancelled select itineraries departing in February 2022 due to deployment changes.
Sture Myrmell, President of P&O Cruises Australia, stated that they had discussions around resumption for some time. He added that the cruise industry had discussed a framework for re-commencement of cruising (domestic-only) with various entities, such as the government and public health authorities, since October 2020.
He also highlighted that it was about the livelihoods of many individuals, small businesses, and family-owned businesses who rely on the cruise sector. These businesses cover myriad activities, including the supply of fresh food, shore tours, entertainment, etc.
In the meantime, cruisers whose bookings have been affected are being notified about the pause and will be given maximum flexibility and options for rescheduling their travel or cancellation.
Myrmell expressed gratitude to their guests for loyalty. He pointed out that over one million Australian cruisers had enjoyed a sailing stint in Australia before the pandemic, and more than half of these guests cruised with P&O Cruises Australia. He also emphasized that they look forward to confirming their return to cruising to welcome everyone on board.
Another leading cruise company in Australia, Princess Cruises, in a statement, confirmed that it was cancelling cruises in and out of Australia. They attributed the cancellation to continued uncertainty regarding the timing for resuming cruise holidays due to the COVID19 pandemic.