P&O Cruises announces plans to halt operations into April 2021

P&O Cruises has said that it has extended the suspension of operations into April 2021 in response to the current uncertainty around European ports of call.

All guests with bookings on a cancelled cruise will be notified and will automatically receive an enhanced 125 percent Future Cruise Credit or alternatively a 100 percent refund by filling out a web form.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: ‘With hopeful news headlines clearly we do not want to extend our pause in operations any further than absolutely necessary, but given the ever-changing guidance around international travel and the varying regulations in many European ports of call we felt it prudent to cancel these additional dates.

‘In addition, as the final payments are due for these cruises very soon we felt it was the right thing to do for our guests.

‘We are so sorry to disappoint those who were due to travel but really hope they will re-book for later in the year or for our new programme of 2022 holidays which went on sale earlier this month with strong demand, showing great confidence in cruising in the future.’

Part of Carnival Corporation & plc, P&O Cruises visits over 200 destinations worldwide and offers itineraries generally ranging from two to 17 days, along with an annual world cruise. P&O Cruises sails to Australia & New Zealand, Baltic, the British Isles, Canada, the Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, the Far East & Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, South America, the South Pacific, the United States and Western Europe.

In 2021, P&O Cruises will launch Iona, the new LNG-powered ship with 5,200-guest capacity. The largest ship built to serve the UK market, Iona will feature enhancements and newly developed features, including a three deck atrium in the heart of the ship as well as SkyDome – an exclusively designed glass dome by Martin Francis.

P&O Cruises announces summer 2022 holiday programme

P&O Cruises, Britain’s leading cruise line, has announced a range of early booking offers alongside its new summer 2022 programme.

The company has put on sale more than 150 holidays both from the home port of Southampton and Mediterranean fly/cruises, with offers including a five percent low deposit on all cruises. P&O cruises is also offering a 10 percent discount for past guests, as well as a five percent discount for new guests making a Select Price booking. Child places are available at £49 for off-peak holidays and £199 for peak holiday periods. Pre-registration for summer 2022 holidays has started with all holidays on sale from Wednesday November 11, 2020. All offers are available until December 14, 2020.

The cruises range from four night breaks to Amsterdam through to a 30 night itinerary to North America and Canada.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: ‘As so many of us have missed out on summer holidays this year, we know our extensive range of cruises for summer 2022 will be eagerly anticipated. We are already delighted with the demand for holidays in 2021 and we are confident that our guests will be looking forward to further opportunities to sail with us the following year.

‘All our summer 2022 holidays are available with a 5% low deposit, plus generous discounts if taking advantage of our launch offers and the opportunity to spread the cost monthly at no additional cost. Additionally, our flexible booking conditions allow guests to move their booking as many times as they like before paying their holiday balance.’

Highlights of the summer 2022 programme, which runs from April to October 2022, include:

The new Iona’s seven night Norwegian fjords holidays offering scenic cruising and calls including the UNESCO World Heritage site Geiranger as well as Olden and Alesund.

Aurora’s Arctic Circle cruise including an overnight stay in Reykjavik plus North Cape cruising.

Azura’s fly/cruises from Malta with itineraries including Trieste, for visits to Venice, and Kusadasi for visits to the ruins of Ephesus. Azura will also sail to Taranto in Southern Italy – the first time P&O Cruises is taking tourists to the historical city.

Britannia’s cruise to the Mediterranean with destinations including La Spezia (for Florence and Pisa) plus overnight calls to Barcelona. Britannia will also offer Baltic holidays including two day calls to St Petersburg while also visiting Helsinki and Tallinn.

Ventura’s cruise holiday to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands featuring calls to Lisbon and Bilbao.

P&O Cruises extends delay in sailing until October 15, 2020

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.

Cardiff announces charter flights to new cruise destinations for 2017

The UK’s biggest cruise operators have announced their timetable of charter flights from Cardiff in 2017, including new services to Rome and Dubai, Cardiff Airport said in a release.

According to the release, Celebrity Cruises will operate a new flight to Rome on July 31, 2017, where passengers will meet the Celebrity Reflection ship, which will go on a Best of the Western Mediterranean trip calling at Florence, Pisa, Nice, Barcelona, Malaga, Gibraltar, Cartagena and Ibiza.

Thomson’s Celebration ship is set to launch two new cruise itineraries in winter 2016/17, operating from the port of Dubai for the first time. The two seven night itineraries – ‘Arabian Nights’ and ‘Cities of Gold’ – will stop overnight in Dubai and visit six new destinations including Khasab and Muscat in Oman, Manama in Bahrain, Doha in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Khor Fakkan in UAE. Direct flights will depart Cardiff on January 23, 2017 and February 20 2017.

P&O Cruises will continue to operate its year-round charter flights from Cardiff, offering Mediterranean cruises during the summer and Caribbean cruises throughout the winter months. The next departure will be on October 5, 2016 to Genoa, where passengers will board Oceana and embark on a tour of Italy and Croatia before flying home from Venice.

In the first half of 2017, two departures will be organised to Bridgetown, Barbados on February 13 and March 18, where P&O’s Azura will begin its 14 night Caribbean tour covering destinations such as St Kitts and St Lucia. P&O’s recently launched Britannia cruise ship is also planning to operate a 14 night Caribbean cruise, with direct flights from Cardiff to Bridgetown departing on November 19, 2016, January 13, 2017 and 28 January 2017.

Thomson’s TUI Discovery Ship will also be cruising the Caribbean in early 2017. The Paradise Islands and the Tropical Delights itinerary starts with departures from Cardiff to Bridgetown on January 8 and March 5, 2017. In addition to the several charter flights available from Cardiff in 2016 and 2017, scheduled services will be operating to Barcelona up to four times a week with Vueling, the airport added.

Debra Barber, Cardiff Airport’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, commented: ‘Cruise travel is becoming increasingly popular with our customers and it’s great to see the industry offering a wealth of choice across the Mediterranean and further flung parts of the world.

‘It’s important for Cardiff Airport to facilitate this growing trend by offering more services via our airlines – both schedule and charter – and it’s great to see new routes operating next year to Rome and Dubai. Going forward, and as passenger numbers continue to increase steadily, I look forward to seeing the cruise travel market continuing to thrive and more direct services operating from Wales’ national airport to meet demand.’

P&O Cruises unveils its new ‘Britannia’ cruise ship

P&O Cruises has unveiled the UK’s biggest-ever cruise ship, named Britannia in honour of the brand’s strong British heritage, according to reports in the Telegraph and Independent.

The eighth ship in the P&O fleet, the £500 million-build vessel will begin sailing in March 2015, with Paul Brown as the ship’s captain.

According to the cruise line, Britannia will ‘capture both the contemporary spirit of P&O Cruises and the spirit of Britain today.’

David Dingle, the chief executive officer for P&O Cruises and Carnival UK, said: ‘Britannia is a most fitting name for the newest addition to P&O Cruises, which, with its long and famous heritage, remains Britain’s favourite cruise line. Today’s Britain is a place of increasing style and sophistication, optimism and excitement. Britannia will reflect that feeling and will mark a new era of growth and success for the cruise industry.’

The new ship will feature 13 Bars, 13 restaurants and cafes, 15 passenger decks and four swimming pools. Britannia will also feature a newly designed hull that is expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.

‘The ship will be our greenest yet and will be designed to deliver much greater levels of operational and environmental efficiency,’ said Dingle, adding: ‘The ship will incorporate the ‘best of the best’ from previous builds including the popular front-facing Crow’s Nest bar and more outlets echoing the popular Glass House concept [on board the luxury liner Azura].’

The 1,082ft long ship, weighing 141,000 tonnes, will sail in and out of Southampton and cruise the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, occasionally cross the Atlantic and visit the Caribbean in winter. The full itinerary is yet to be decided.

The 3,600-passenger ship will increase the cruise line’s capacity by 24 percent, representing a further expansion to the P&O Cruises portfolio. ‘In the grand scheme of things cruise is still a fledgling sector and accounts for a very small portion of the global holiday market,’ Dingle said, adding: ‘I am confident we will fill all eight ships.’