Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line and P&O cancel Aussie sailings, as Costa Cruises readies for restart

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Two Carnival-Corporation-owned cruise lines have announced an extended pause in operations, while another has revealed it will restart sailings from next month.

Carnival Cruise Line has cancelled all Australian sailings departing from 15 March 2020 on board Carnival Splendor through to and including 28 June 2021, as well all Carnival Spirit sailings through to and including 12 September 2021.

The line is offering an ‘Enhanced Value Option’ (that is, future cruise credits) to affected customers, or a full refund.

“On behalf of all of us at Carnival Cruise Line, we extend our sincere apologies for the disruption to your holiday plans and trust you understand this decision was made with everyone’s best interest at heart,” it said in a statement.

P&O Cruises Australia has extended its current operational pause to departures on or before 18 June 2021.

Guests with bookings affected by the pause extension are being given as much notice as possible to provide them with greater certainty around their holiday plans, according to P&O Cruises Australia president Sture Myrmell.

“While we are becoming increasingly confident in the restart of cruising in Australia, we are continuing with the realistic and pragmatic approach we have adopted previously,” he said.

“We know from our contact with guests and through our social media channels that they, like us, can’t wait to be cruising again, and our crew can’t wait to again be delivering exceptional cruise holiday experiences.

“We once again thank our guests for their patience and understanding, and for their unwavering loyalty to Australia’s homegrown cruise line.”

P&O said it will contact affected customers either directly or via their appointed travel agent to let them know of the pause extension and the options available to them.

Meanwhile, Carnival’s Italian brand, Costa Cruises, is gearing up to set sail again, with flagship Costa Smeralda scheduled for departure on 27 March with an unchanged itinerary.

Costa Smeralda (image source: iStock/maudanros)

The ship will sail to several Italian locations including Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari on 3- and 4-day mini-cruises, along with a seven-day cruise.

From 1 May, Costa Smeralda will return to sailing one-week cruises in the western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).

A second ship, Costa Luminosa, will also be back in service soon, departing from Trieste from 2 May, and the following day from Bari, confirming its program of one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia.

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