More bad news for cruise fans in Australia today, as P&O Cruises Australia has extended its pause in operations for cruises departing from Sydney and Brisbane by a further month until mid-January next year.
The line said the decision was designed to give guests greater confidence in planning their Christmas and New Year holidays because of the uncertainty around the return of cruising.
The pause will apply to cruises scheduled to depart from December 18th through to January 14th for Brisbane, and January 18th for Sydney.
P&O Cruises Australia also confirmed it was cancelling its Melbourne summer season, which was no longer feasible to deliver because of the latest extension.
“We recognise this is disappointing for our guests who were looking forward to cruising with friends and family over Christmas and New Year, however, we wanted to make this announcement as early as possible to ensure they could plan with certainty for the holiday period,” P&O Cruises Australia president, Sture Myrmell, said.
P&O Cruises Australia recently announced its intention to resume domestic operations with cruises for fully vaccinated guests and crew.
“Governments have made it very clear that vaccination thresholds are the key to ending lockdowns, border restrictions and, ultimately, re-opening Australia.
“And part of returning to normal society is ensuring that the more than one million Australians who choose a cruise holiday each year have the opportunity to do so again,” Myrmell said.
“Unfortunately, we are not yet clear on the requirements from governments and public health authorities for a phased return of domestic cruising, but we remain hopeful these conversations will gather pace now there is real momentum around society re-opening.”
At the same time, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in cruise holidays in Australia/New Zealand to January 27th, due to the uncertainty around the return of cruising in the region.
As a result of the pause extension, Coral Princess voyages through January 17th are cancelled and Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess seasons through to March are being cancelled.
“It became apparent we would not be able to deliver planned deployment of Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess in Australia before they were due to start their published northern hemisphere voyages,” said Deanna Austin, Princess Cruises chief commercial officer.
“We recognise that guests planning cruises over the popular summer and new year holiday period will be particularly disappointed with the changes, however, we wanted to give guests as much notice as possible so they could plan their holidays with certainty.”