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P&O Cruises Australia pausing again!

March 31, 2021 Cruise News No Comments Email Email

P&O Cruises Australia has announced, not surprisingly, that it is extending its cruising pause until the end of July this year, saying though it remains positive about a pathway for the cruise industry’s return to service.With the current rolling pause affecting cruises scheduled from 18 June to 30 July, 2021 (inclusive), also not surprisingly due to the countries COVID outbreak, P&O Cruises Australia is also cancelling voyages to Papua New Guinea, and also the Solomon Islands for the remainder of the year although P&O says that is due to the uncertainty around borders.

Unfortunately, this extension of their cruise pause, also affects this year’s Cairns season where Pacific Explorer was to be based for two months from October.

P&O Cruises Australia says that guests and travel agents will be contacted directly with solutions and alternative arrangements that will be tailored on a booking-by-booking basis.

Sture Myrmell, President of P&O Cruises Australia said, “We are sorry that some of our guests will be unavoidably inconvenienced by these changes to the existing schedule at a time when we remain optimistic about returning to service as society keeps opening up”, adding, “We are continuing our discussions with governments and health authorities to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruising”, and “As those discussions continue, today’s changes are necessary as we take a practical approach to the current environment and continue to look forward to better days ahead.”

Myrmell said the cruise line was writing to guests affected by the extended pause and the other operational changes to apologise for the disruption to their holiday plans and to let them know of alternative arrangements.

P&O Cruises Australia said that even amid the challenges of the past year, it has continued its fleet transformation so that it is ready to resume its leading role as Australia’s home-grown cruise line, with Myrmell saying, “This includes preparing for Pacific Encounter and Pacific Adventure to join the P&O fleet this year to offer a very special cruising experience when we are again able to sail,” adding, “As always, we thank our guests for their patience and understanding in relation to these changes, and especially for their continued loyalty to P&O Cruises”, and “Our onboard teams can’t wait to welcome guests to offer them the amazing cruise holiday experiences for which they are so renowned.”

In addition, it is  also thought that the extended pause is also due to two key factors, including firstly the fact that Pacific EncounterPacific Explorer and Pacific Adventure are all currently in or near Singapore and the time it might take to get them back into action and to Australia and also secondly, the Federal Government’s highly frustrating failure to announce a decision to allow at least some domestic, intra-state or inter-state cruising, with no cruise company likely to end any pause until that is announced.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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