P&O Cruises Australia is extending its rolling pause in operations in New Zealand to departures on and before 25 April, 2021 as the cruise line and the wider industry continue to work with government and public health authorities on the appropriate time to restart sailing.
The cruise line, which has based ships in Auckland for many years, will return to New Zealand for a dedicated 150-day season in July 2022.
P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said the start of a new year brought renewed optimism and confidence but, at the same time, it was important to remain realistic about the more immediate future.
“We know that much better days lie ahead and we remain positive about the resumption of cruising. While we’ve paused operations, P&O Cruises together with the wider industry has been using the time wisely to plan for cruising’s return,” Mr Myrmell said.
“As we work towards this goal, we wanted to provide our Kiwi guests with as much certainty as possible and flexibility around their 2021 bookings and an opportunity to reschedule their cruise holiday for 2022 or beyond.
“I want to thank our New Zealand guests for their loyalty to P&O Cruises Australia during this time and we look forward to welcoming them back onboard.”
Initially scheduled to start sailing from Auckland from 6 February, 2021, Pacific Explorer’s operations were previously paused to 4 March, 2021 and are now paused to 25 April.
In Australia, Pacific Adventure is currently scheduled to begin sailing from Sydney on 30 April, 2021 while Pacific Encounter is due to call Brisbane home from 7 May - although additional voyages may be added earlier, depending on the timing of the return of cruising in Australia.
The extended pause in operations from New Zealand affects the following cruises:
Pacific Explorer: X112N, X113N, X114N, X115N, X116N, X117N, X118N, X119N, X120N.
Booking and refund options for cancelled cruises from 7 January, 2021:
P&O will make contact with guests whose cruises have been affected, either directly or via their appointed travel agent, to let them know of this development and the options available to them.
Guests who have not yet received an offer in response to a cruise that was cancelled during P&O’s pause in operations are entitled to a full refund or bonus onboard credit if they choose a future cruise credit.
P&O will pay refunds back to travel agents for guests who booked through that channel. The cruise line will also protect travel agent commissions on all bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full as at 5 January, 2021.
Guests with bookings affected by the pause in operations, can track the progress of their future cruise credit or refund request via a new tracking tool found on P&O’s website.