NZ off for now, but P&O maintains Aussie cruising will start in late April

P&O Australia has extended its sailings pause until after April 25, but is sticking to its Aussie schedule.

Pacific Adventure, a new vessel to the P&O fleet, is currently scheduled to begin sailing from Sydney on 30 April, 2021.  And another newbie,  Pacific Encounter,  is due to call Brisbane home from May 7.

And a hopeful P&O spokesperson added:  “Additional voyages may be added earlier, depending on the timing of the return of cruising in Australia”.

The news comes as the line launched a major sales push for its Aussie sailings, with Flight Centre announcing a $1 deposit and a bonus onboard credit. Find out more here: https://www.flightcentre.com.au/?utm_source=cruise-passenger&utm_medium=ext-edm&utm_campaign=202101_FC_POCruise

President Sture Myrmell has announced that the cruise line is on track with the delivery of the Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter.

The two ships are expected to join the Pacific Explorer in the first half of 2021.

“We all long for the day when cruise holidays are back on the agenda with all the protocols in place to provide a safe and healthy cruise holiday environment,” he said.

But the line has announced it is extending its pause to departures on and before 25 April in New Zealand. The line, like the rest of the industry, are in talks with government and public health authorities on the appropriate time to restart sailing there.

The cruise line says it will return to New Zealand for a “dedicated 150-day season” in July 2022.

Mr Myrmell maintained 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.

“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.

Sture Myrmell, Dora the Explorer and friends on the Pacific Explorer

Pacific Explorer was scheduled to sail from Auckland next month.  Operations are now paused to 25 April.

The following cruises are affected by today’s announcement:

Pacific Explorer: X112N, X113N, X114N, X115N, X116N, X117N, X118N, X119N, X120N.

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.