P&O Cruises has announced an extension to a delay in its sailing operations until October 15, 2020 as it works with all relevant public health agencies to approve health and safety protocols.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: ‘We are working with government and industry bodies at the highest possible level, such as Public Health England (PHE) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to review every aspect of a holiday with us and establish a framework of policies and procedures. Our aspiration is to be adopting best practice in managing COVID-19 within the travel industry.
‘Unfortunately, as the world continues to adapt to this global crisis, we have made the decision, difficult as it is, to extend our pause in operations for all sailings up to and including October 15, 2020. We are so sorry for the disappointment this will cause to so many of our guests.’
All guests who were booked on these cancelled sailings will receive an enhanced Future Cruise Credit (FCC), which will include an additional 25% on top of the amount paid for the holiday. FCCs may also be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any existing booking and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option will also be available until the end of December 2021.
Expanding on the likely protocols Ludlow said: ‘We have for years had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitizing stations and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. We also have for years gone beyond those protocols by having guests complete a health declaration form and having a comprehensive medical facility on board each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment. During the recent crisis, we added robust health screening upon embarkation, starting with thermal scanning of guests and crew.
‘Along with the rest of the world, we will adapt. We will work closely with medical experts and global authorities to help us determine the best way to move forward while honouring our highest responsibility – the health, safety, and wellbeing of our guests, crew and communities we visit, along with compliance and environmental protection.
‘When the time is right, we will be ready to resume our tradition of providing amazing holiday experiences for our guests.’
P&O Cruises is also introducing a 5% deposit for new bookings made between 27 May and 29 June 2020. The offer is available on applicable Early Saver and Select Price holidays of 19 nights or fewer from January 2021.
P&O Cruises visits over 200 destinations worldwide and offers itineraries generally ranging from two to 17 days and an annual world cruise. P&O Cruises sails to Australia & New Zealand, Baltic, the British Isles, Canada, Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, Dubai & the Arabian Gulf, the Far East & Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, South America, the South Pacific, the United States and Western Europe.