MIAMI, June 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- P&O Cruises has announced an extension to the pause in its operations until October 15, 2020 as it focuses on working in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of the company's already stringent health and safety protocols.
In the latest of a series of videos P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:
"As a business our operational focus is not "when can we resume sailing?" but is instead "how can we develop a comprehensive restart protocol that will keep everyone on board, our crew and guests, safe and well and still give our guests an amazing holiday?"
"We are working with government and industry bodies at the highest possible level, such as Public Health England (PHE) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to review every aspect of a holiday with us and establish a framework of policies and procedures. Our aspiration is to be adopting best practice in managing COVID-19 within the travel industry.
"Unfortunately, as the world continues to adapt to this global crisis, we have made the decision, difficult as it is, to extend our pause in operations for all sailings up to and including October 15, 2020. We are so sorry for the disappointment this will cause to so many of our guests."
All guests who were booked on these cancelled sailings will receive an enhanced Future Cruise Credit which gives an additional 25% on top of the amount paid for the holiday.
"We have now amended our systems so that those guests with the enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit may now redeem them online without the need to call us, which will make things much easier for our guests. Further details of this will be on the website."
Following feedback from guests P&O Cruises has also confirmed that the Future Cruise Credit, which may be held until the end of 2021, may be put against any holiday on sale at that time, giving guests maximum flexibility and choice.
FCCs may also be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any existing booking and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option will also be available until the end of December 2021.
"P&O Cruises is also introducing a 5% deposit for new bookings made between 27 May and 29 June 2020. The offer is available on applicable Early Saver and Select Price holidays of 19 nights or fewer from January 2021. See website for details.
"We want to apologise once again to those guests who wait for refunds, particularly at a time of financial constraints, however the new technology we have in place is rapidly improving things though and we continue to make further progress on a daily basis."
Expanding on the likely protocols Ludlow said:
"We have for years had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitizing stations and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. We also have for years gone beyond those protocols by having guests complete a health declaration form and having a comprehensive medical facility on board each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment. During the recent crisis, we added robust health screening upon embarkation, starting with thermal scanning of guests and crew.
"Along with the rest of the world, we will adapt. We will work closely with medical experts and global authorities to help us determine the best way to move forward while honoring our highest responsibility – the health, safety, and wellbeing of our guests, crew and communities we visit, along with compliance and environmental protection.
"We have always taken such pride in our standards of cleanliness and hygiene before Covid-19, but when we return there will be enhanced protocols approved by hospitality and national public health authorities. This will ensure we continue to have in place high levels of cleanliness across every single aspect of public areas, crew living areas and every item of furniture in cabins and everywhere on board as well as approved safety standards for the service of food and drink; entertainment and experiences on board and on shore.
"When the time is right, we will be ready to resume our tradition of providing amazing holiday experiences for our guests."
About P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises is Britain's favourite cruise line, welcoming guests to experience the good life and enjoy a blend of discovery, relaxation and exceptional service catered towards British tastes. P&O Cruises fleet of premium ships combine genuine service, a sense of occasion and attention to detail, ensuring guests have the holiday of a lifetime, every time.
In 2020, P&O Cruises will launch Iona. The new LNG-powered ship, with 5,200-guest capacity, will be the largest ship built to serve the UK market. Iona will feature enhancements to already successful brand signature venues from the existing fleet, as well as features newly developed for Iona. These include a breathtaking three deck atrium in the heart of the ship as well as SkyDome – an exclusively designed glass dome by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O'Callaghan. This will be a world first at sea and offer a unique space for both relaxing in all weathers and providing entertainment, featuring aerial performers and a wealth of live acts.
P&O Cruises visits over 200 destinations worldwide and offers itineraries generally ranging from two to 17 days and also an annual world cruise. P&O Cruises sails to Australia & New Zealand, Baltic, the British Isles, Canada, Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, Dubai & the Arabian Gulf, the Far East & Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, South America, the South Pacific, the United States and Western Europe.
SOURCE P&O Cruises