Major cruising companies put Australian season on hold

Mogens JohansenThe West Australian
Kayaking off Aurora Expeditions ship Greg Mortimer in the Antarctic.
Camera IconKayaking off Aurora Expeditions ship Greg Mortimer in the Antarctic. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and Aurora Expeditions have postponed the start of their Australian season because of uncertainty about the pathway to resuming their cruising programs.

Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises announced cancellation of all voyages in and out of Australia until mid-December, citing “continued uncertainty regarding the timing for the resumption of cruise holidays in the region” for the move.

P&O will resume on December 17th and Princess on December 19th 2021. Guests who are booked on a cancelled cruise will have their reservations moved to an equivalent voyage in 2022, with the benefit of protecting 2021 fare levels on the replacement departure.

Alternatively, customers can choose a Future Cruise Credit amounting to 100 per cent of the fare paid plus a 10 per cent non-refundable bonus, or a full refund to the original form of payment.

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said the cruise industry had been discussing a framework for the restart of domestic-only cruising with government and public health authorities since last October.

“These discussions have been under way for some time and we look forward to the opportunity to agree a pathway for starting cruises that carry Australian residents on Australian itineraries,” he said.

Aurora Expeditions Chief Executive Officer Monique Ponfoort said her company was committed to deliver a clear pathway forward by announcing the continued suspension of operations until November.

She added that Aurora continued to receive positive support from its discussions with State and Federal governments to bring their new expedition ship Greg Mortimer to Australia and they remained committed to operating a full Antarctic Peninsula program from November 2021.

Guests who have booked a voyage on the suspended program will be able to receive a full refund, apply their deposit towards another booking, or leave it as a credit with Aurora.

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