Just a couple of weeks ago P&O Cruises made an announcement that they were extending their pause in operations and cancelling a number of their longer voyages. We now also have an update from Cunard to share with you.

In an acknowledgement of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance and the complexity of operating World Voyages, Cunard is extending its pause in operations from November until to 25 March 2021 for Queen Elizabeth; until 18 April 2021 for Queen Mary 2, and until 16 May 2021 for Queen Victoria.

Alongside the pause in operations, all of Queen Elizabeth’s sailings that were due to depart between 26 March and 13 December, 2021, covering sailings in and around Australia, Japan and Alaska, will also be cancelled. These voyages will be replaced with a programme of shorter duration European holidays ranging from three to 14 nights, departing from Southampton.

These will start at the end of March 2021, with a series of scenic voyages around the coast of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and the Scottish Isles. There will also be short breaks to Amsterdam which will include an overnight in the city, as well as voyages to northern and southern European destinations including Norway and the Iberian coast, with several of these itineraries featuring overnight city stays.

Queen Elizabeth’s new programme will be completed with a series of seven and 14 night voyages in the Mediterranean, sailing from Barcelona. All new itineraries on board Queen Elizabeth will be available to book from 29 September, 2020.

Additionally, Queen Mary will sail a classic World Voyage in 2022, replacing her scheduled sailings departing 3 January to 3 April, including the voyage to South America.

The new 104 night adventure will depart from Southampton on January 10, 2022 and include calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali before returning to Southampton via Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. The ship will sail through the Suez Canal both on the outbound journey and on return. It will be bookable, either as a full world voyage or as one of six sectors, from September 8, 2020.

We know that these cruises, in particular, are holidays of a lifetime and a number of colleague concession bookings are affected as a result of this announcement. We are so sorry for the disappointment that these cancellations will cause – your cruise will be cancelled and a refund issued.

As Cunard and Carnival UK President, Simon Palethorpe , explains in his colleague update video below, the complexity of Cunard’s scheduled World Voyages with an international mix of Guests visiting many countries and continents (each with their own evolving travel regulations), was a very real factor in our decision making.

We continue to work in partnership with public health agencies at the highest level as well as Department for Transport, EU Healthy Gateways and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry governing body. We will follow all applicable guidelines to enhance our already stringent measures to keep our crew and Guests healthy and well, and we will not resume sailing until this approved framework is in place. Fundamentally, we will be adopting best practice within the travel industry.

Thank you again to our contact centre colleagues for all you’re doing to continue supporting our Guests – you have a comprehensive task ahead of you to help our Guests through even more itinerary changes.

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