Australian cruise operators Princess Cruises and P&O have both announced that they have extended their pause on cruising until mid-December.
P&O said that it was extending its pause on cruising until 17 December because of ongoing uncertainty around a pathway to resume Australia-only cruising.
The uncertainty regarding the timing of when cruising would be able to start in the Australia region also led to Princess Cruises cancelling all holidays in and out of Australia through to 19 December.
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P&O Cruises president Sture Myrmell said the extension to the voluntary pause applied to cruises scheduled to depart from 17 September to on or before the new date of 17 December, 2021.
The cruise industry has been discussing a framework for the restart 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,” Mr 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.”
P&O customers who have booked cruises will be notified of their options either directly or through their travel agent.
Customers booked on a cancelled Princess cruise will be moved to an equivalent cruise in 2022, with the rebooking process having the added benefit of protecting the 2021 fare on their replacement cruise.
Princess customers can also choose a future cruise credit equivalent to 100 per cent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional cruise credit equal to 10 per cent of the cruise fare or a full refund.
Do you think cruising will be ready to resume by December? When do you think we will see cruising return to normal? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?
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