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P&O Cruises UK to offer short domestic UK cruises – could P&O Cruises Australia follow this model?

March 5, 2021 Cruise News No Comments Email Email

P&O Cruises UK has announced that it will be offering a series of short-break and week-long UK cruise, described as “the ultimate escape staycation” in the UK summer of 2021 and there is considerable speculation whether P&O Cruises Australia will follow this model, offering domestic Australia cruises, once given approval to do so by the Federal Government.

P&O Cruises UK President Paul Ludlow said, “Following the recent government announcements and as the vaccine program is rolled out across the globe, we can all begin to feel a sense of reassurance and hope that this current lockdown period in the UK will come to an end”, adding,  “Life can, we hope, slowly return to some semblance of our previous normality as hospitality opens up and summer holidays can be booked with confidence.”

He added, “Whilst holidays here in the UK will be the first to become a reality we will, of course, gradually see the return of international travel but first we want guests to be able to enjoy a proper summer holiday at sea with the best in relaxation, entertainment and dining choice.”

Ludlow said that summer sailings will leave from P&O’s homeport in Southampton and sail around UK coastal waters, with more details of dates, prices and the experience onboard will be announced later in March, along with the cruises going on sale in late March.

Ludlow added, “We hope that the UK ‘ultimate escape’ staycation option will have wide appeal and we will do our utmost to make it a very special time” and “There really will be something for everyone and the opportunity to spend precious and much-longed for time with family and friends”.

While the ships that will be operating the domestic UK cruises have not been announced, nor whether there will be any port visits, P&O Cruises UK also announced that some of the current P&O Cruises UK published itinerary program for summer 2021 is being cancelled., with Ludlow saying, “Cruises on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura have been cancelled until the end of August and on Britannia and Iona until the end of September,” adding, “I really am so sorry for the disappointment these cancellations will cause but hope that the new UK cruises will enable everyone to enjoy a wonderful holiday this summer.”

He also said, “We remain in very close contact with the UK government and associated bodies as we monitor the latest situation and guidance on travel”, adding, “From the moment we see travel restrictions lifting we will begin the significant logistical task to restart our operations”, and “It will take some time for the first ship to return to service, followed by the phased return of the remaining fleet”, and  “We cannot wait to welcome everyone back onboard with the protection of effective protocols to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all crew and guests.”

P&O Cruises UK said that all guests whose cruises have been cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of what they paid, with this 125% percent Future Cruise Credit redeemable against any new booking made by the end of December 2021, on any cruise on sale at the time of booking.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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