P&O Australia canceled further sailings through March 3, 2022, because of the uncertainty over when the Australian governments would allow the cruise industry to restart.
On November 10, the cruise company announced it would cancel voyages until February 15, 2022, and 2022’s schedules for Adelaide, Cairns and Fremantle-Perth. But this week, P&O decided to extend its canceled cruise season.
P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said that recent speculation about the lifting of the ban on cruise ships had been encouraging but uncertainty continued around the resumption of cruising in Australia.
“Given this difficult situation, we wanted to treat our loyal guests with respect and to provide certainty in relation to their much-anticipated cruise holiday plans as well as limit any inconvenience for them.
“Once a return to service and accompanying protocols become clear, it will take us several months to manage the complex logistics necessary to return a ship into operation and sail to Australian waters.
“Steps include engaging our crew and re-training them to meet new operating protocols once known, as well as re-stocking the ship with local fresh produce, including for celebrity chef Luke Mangan’s outlets, and finalising our entertainment line-up.
“At a time when optimism for a cruising restart in Australia is growing, it is incredibly disappointing to again have to extend our pause in operations. We thank our guests who have remained incredibly loyal during the 20 months our ships have been out of service.”
P&O Australia has already revealed an intention to restart domestic sailings with vaccination-only cruises for eligible passengers and crew members.
Vacationers whose bookings have been affected will be notified of the options available either directly or via the appointed travel agent.