Due to continued uncertainty regarding the timing for the resumption of cruise holidays in the region, both P&O and Princess have extended their pause in cruise operations by a further three months until mid-December 2021.
The extension to the voluntary pause applies to cruises scheduled to depart from 17 September to on or before the new date of 17 December 2021 for P&O and until 19 December 2021, for Princess.
The cruise industry has been discussing a framework for the re-start of domestic-only cruising with government and public health authorities since last October.
“These discussions have been underway for some time and we look forward to the opportunity to agree a pathway for starting cruises that carry Australian residents on Australian itineraries,” P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said.
“This is about the livelihoods of the thousands of individuals and small businesses, many family-owned businesses, who rely on the cruise sector.
“These businesses cover a range of activities such as the supply of fresh food, entertainment, shore tours, coach operators and marine engineering services.
“They are like every business in Australia – they need certainty, and I am concerned they may find it increasingly difficult to hang on without a clear pathway forward,” he said.
For guests booked on a cancelled cruise, Princess will move guests to an equivalent cruise in 2022. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests’ 2021 fare on their replacement cruise.
Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 AUD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.
Requests must be received through this online form by July 31, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.
Princess says it will protect travel agent commission on bookings that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.
P&O guests whose bookings have been affected will be notified of the pause and options available either directly or via their appointed travel agent.
Mr Myrmell again thanked our guests for their loyalty, passion for cruising and continued words of encouragement.
“More than one million Australians cruised in Australia prior to the pandemic – and more than half of these guests sailed with P&O Cruises Australia,” he said.
“We look forward to the day when a pathway is confirmed for cruising’s return so that we can welcome everyone back on-board.”
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.
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