However, cruises on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura cancelled until the end of August and on Britannia and Iona until the end of September
P&O Cruises will offer a series of short break and week-long UK cruises this summer, which go on sale this month.
However, the line also announced that 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.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “Following recent Government announcements and as the vaccine programme 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. 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.
“While 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.
“These sailings will leave from our home port in Southampton and sail around UK coastal waters enjoying the summer sunshine. More details of dates, prices and the experience on board will be announced later this month, but they will, of course, all have flexibility so guests can book with confidence.
“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. There really will be something for everyone and the opportunity to spend precious and much longed-for time with family and friends.
“In order to offer these UK breaks it does mean that, unfortunately, we need to cancel some of our current published programme of holidays this summer.
“We remain in very close contact with the UK government and associated bodies as we monitor the latest situation and guidance on travel. From the moment we see travel restrictions lifting we will begin the significant logistical task to restart our operations. It will take some time for the first ship to return to service, followed by the phased return of the remaining fleet. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back on board with the protection of effective protocols to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all crew and guests.
“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.”
All guests whose cruises have been cancelled will automatically receive a future cruise credit (FCC) worth 125 per cent of what they paid. This 125 per cent FCC can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021, on any cruise on sale at the time of booking.
Alternatively, a 100 per cent refund is available through the form on pocruises.com and may be requested until December 2021.
Regal Princess and Sky Princess ex-UK cruises cancelled until September, but short UK cruises to go on sale in their place later this month
Princess Cruises will launch a series of short UK cruises departing in late summer, which go on sale later this month.
Following in the wake of sister company P&O, which has announced ‘staycation’ cruises this summer, Regal Princess and Sky Princess will offer short breaks and week-long holidays sailing from Southampton to UK guests. The shift to UK-focused cruises does mean that original ex-UK sailings on these ships, as well as on board Island Princess, have been cancelled until September 25.
Thanks to the line’s MedallionClass experience and OceanMedallion wearable device, guests will enjoy ‘Truly Touchless’ experiences that are in line with current health guidance. The technology allows for more streamlined check-in, simplified safety training, reductions in queuing and the ability to order food and drink to anywhere on the ship.
Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK & Europe, said: “Recent announcements from the UK government on the roadmap to the end of lockdown has given us all optimism that we will be able to have a summer break.
“When restrictions are lifted, it is clear that holidays in the UK will be the first to restart before the gradual return of international travel. We are eager to welcome our guests back on board as soon as it is safe to do so. By offering a series of short UK breaks, we can provide guests with a relaxed holiday at sea so they can enjoy a much-needed getaway.
“In order to offer these new cruises, we have unfortunately had to cancel our current ex-UK programme until late September. We share in the disappointment over these cancelled cruises and we appreciate the continued patience from our loyal guests and travel agents.”
Princess will offer to move guests booked on a cancelled voyage to the equivalent cruise in 2022. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 per cent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to ten per cent of the cruise fare paid (minimum £25) or a full refund to the original form of payment. Where there is no matched cruise available in 2022, guests will automatically receive a refundable FCC, or they can request a full refund.
Requests must be received through this online form by April 15, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.
For agents, Princess will transfer the commission earned from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022.
Roberts added: “We are extremely appreciative of the unwavering support from our trade partners and would like to thank them for their continued understanding and cooperation.
“As we prepare our ships for our return to service, we remain in close contact with Clia, the UK government and associated bodies to monitor the latest travel guidance. More details of dates, itineraries and prices for the new UK cruises will be announced later this month. We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board to create summertime memories in a safe and relaxed environment.”
Through Princess Cruises’ ‘Book with Confidence’ policy, for bookings made by April 30, 2021, guests can cancel up to 30 days prior to sailing for voyages departing through October 31, 2021, and receive cancellation fees back as an FCC.