P&O Cruises Australia today extended its pause in operations for cruises departing from Sydney and Brisbane by a further month until mid January next year to give guests greater confidence in planning their Christmas and New Year holidays because of the uncertainty around the return of cruising.
The voluntary pause will apply to cruises scheduled to depart from 18 December, 2021 through to 14 January, 2022 (for Brisbane) and 18 January, 2022 (for Sydney).
P&O Cruises Australia also confirmed it was cancelling its Melbourne summer season, which was no longer feasible to deliver because of the latest extension.
“We recognise this is disappointing for our guests who were looking forward to cruising with friends and family over Christmas and New Year, however, we wanted to make this announcement as early as possible to ensure they could plan with certainty for the holiday period,” P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said.
“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.”
P&O Cruises Australia recently announced its intention to resume domestic operations with cruises for fully vaccinated guests and crew.
“Governments have made it very clear that vaccination thresholds are the key to ending lockdowns, border restrictions and, ultimately, re-opening Australia. And part of returning to normal society is ensuring that the more than one million Australians who choose a cruise holiday each year have the opportunity to do so again,” Mr Myrmell said.
“Unfortunately, we are not yet clear on the requirements from governments and public health authorities for a phased return of domestic cruising but we remain hopeful these conversations will gather pace now there is real momentum around society re-opening.”
Guests whose bookings have been affected will be notified of the pause and options available either directly or via their appointed travel agent.
Guests can track the progress of their future cruise credit or refund request via the tracking tool found on P&O’s website at www.pocruises.com.au.