P&O Cruises Australia today announced a voluntary 30-day pause to its cruise operations following advice from the country’s public officials that mass gatherings should be limited to no more than 500 people and Australians should reconsider their need to travel anywhere in the world.
The 30-day pause takes effect from today until P&O’s planned resumption of cruising on April 12. The pause will affect cruises on Pacific Explorer, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria that were scheduled to depart Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.
P&O will make direct contact with guests whose cruises have been affected to let them know of this development and to apologise for the disruption.
Decisions have also been made in relation to the P&O fleet’s current cruises.
- Pacific Explorer’s scheduled call to Eden tomorrow has been cancelled and the ship will return to Sydney for arrival as planned on Monday.
- Pacific Dawn’s cruise from Brisbane today will not proceed.
- Pacific Aria currently on a cruise to Tasmania will now return to Adelaide on Monday.
Announcing the pause, President of P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said the cruise line was confident in its existing public health measures to maintain a healthy onboard environment for guests and crew.
However, Mr Myrmell said the responsible course was for P&O to support the efforts of federal and state governments and their senior health experts as they work to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also advised Australians to reconsider their need to travel anywhere in the world.
“At the same time, we are acutely aware of the disappointment for our guests whose cruise holidays have been unavoidably cut short or cancelled at short notice,” Mr Myrmell said.
““Cancelling or reducing the length of a cruise is the last thing we would ever want to do but these are extraordinary times and we have no hesitation in putting the health and well-being of our guests, crew and the wider community first.”
For guests whose future voyages have been cancelled during the 30 day period, P&O is offering a full refund – or a Future Cruise Credit equal to 200% of the cost of their original cruise. The cruise line is communicating with guests directly on voyages currently sailing.
P&O is doing everything possible to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care. P&O will protect travel agent commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits.
P&O looks forward to resuming normal cruise operations from 12 April with a 10-night cruise on Pacific Aria from Auckland to the South Pacific (subject to the New Zealand Government’s clearance at that time). It will be followed two days later (14 April) with Pacific Explorer departing Sydney on a 10-night cruise to the South Pacific. On 18 April, Pacific Dawn will depart Brisbane on a three day Comedy Cruise.
Mr Myrmell thanked P&O’s loyal guests for their unwavering and inspiring commitment to the brand and their support for the onboard teams who do so much to deliver exceptional guest experiences.
“In spite of everything, many guests were prepared to cruise because of their faith in P&O Cruises as their favourite cruise brand,” Mr Myrmell said. “We look forward to getting past this coronavirus challenge so that our cruise operations can return to normal.
“There are many exciting things for us to share with our guests including the great additions to Pacific Explorer following her recent dry dock and Pacific Adventure’s arrival later this year.”
Ship Operations Pause FAQ