P&O extends cruise pause, releases details about LGBTQIA+ and eclipse trips

P&O extends cruise pause, releases details about LGBTQIA+ and eclipse trips

P&O Cruises Australia has extended its pause in operations until the end of July, but the line said it “remains positive” about the cruise industry’s return to service.

The current rolling pause will affect cruises scheduled from 18 June to 30 July, 2021, as well as voyages to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands which will be cancelled for the remainder of the year.

This also affects this year’s Cairns season, where Pacific Explorer was to be based for two months from October.

“We are sorry that some of our guests will be unavoidably inconvenienced by these changes to the existing schedule at a time when we remain optimistic about returning to service as society keeps opening up,” P&O Cruises Australia president Sture Myrmell said on Thursday.

“We are continuing our discussions with governments and health authorities to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruising.

“As those discussions continue, today’s changes are necessary as we take a practical approach to the current environment and continue to look forward to better days ahead.”

P&O has also extended its P&O Assurance policy, which will now cover all cruises departing before 1 July 2022, and will apply to all existing and future bookings made before 12 May 2021.

Guests who book before that date will be able to cancel their cruise up to 75 days prior to sailing and receive a full refund with no cancellation fee.

Meanwhile, guests who choose to cancel their cruise between 75 and 14 days prior to the scheduled departure will have their cancellation fee returned to them as a future cruise credit.

Looking ahead, the line has also announced a couple of special cruises that will take place in 2022 and 2023.

Next year, the line will be flying the rainbow flag with the launch of its first ‘Pride Cruise’ – a celebratory weekend at sea created especially for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, their friends, family and supporters.

Joining P&O Cruises in the new sailing will be a raft of community organisations that support the LGBTQIA+ community through health, well-being and social initiatives. On board will be Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Harbour City Bears and Queer Screen, which will showcase its first ‘Queer Screen @ Sea Film Festival’.

The homegrown cruise line has also partnered with some of the best names in the Australian entertainment business to develop the three-night cruise, including talented artists and entertainers who are champions of equality.

In April 2023, P&O will be departing a once-in-a-lifetime five-night cruise that will track over the North West Cape of Western Australia near Exmouth, the only location on mainland Australia where the event can be viewed as a total solar eclipse.

Also known as the ‘king of eclipses’, this solar eclipse will take place at 11.27am on 20 April 2023 and promises to be an unforgettable experience as the moon completely covers the sun for one minute and 16 seconds, creating darkness and making the sun’s fainter corona visible to the naked eye.

There were only five total solar eclipses visible from Australia last century and it has been almost 50 years since Western Australia has experienced one.

The 2023 total solar eclipse is particularly special, as it will occur as part of a rare hybrid eclipse – a form of eclipse which has not been visible from Australia for almost 1,000 years.

Latest News

  • Aviation

Senior management at Air India expected to keep jobs after Vistara merger

The Tata group is likely to retain the senior management of full-service airline Air India after its merger with Vistara, according to an Economic Times report. The report said Campbell Wilson will continue as CEO of Air India, while Nipun Aggarwal be chief commercial and transformation officer of the merged entity, while Sanjay Sharma will […]

  • Food & Beverage

PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport launches Asian-Australian fusion menu

The newly refurbished PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport unveils a new Asian-Australian fusion menu for the onsite all-day dining Airo Restaurant. The menu debuts alongside the restaurant’s refurbishment and offers travellers a delicious selection while enjoying comfortable and stylish surroundings. It was created by PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport’s executive chef Jee Whan Lee with the goal of bringing […]

  • Cruise

HX names Alex McNeil as inaugural chief expedition officer

HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) has announced that Alex McNeil will take on the newly created position of Chief Expedition Officer (CXO). This new C-suite role underscores HX’s commitment to immersive adventure travel, enhancing its legacy of almost 130 years in expeditions. As CXO, McNeil will oversee all aspects of HX’s global itinerary and expedition experience. His […]

  • Aviation
  • Technology

SITA wins Heathrow Airport’s confidence with contract extension for network infrastructure solutions

Global leader in air transport technology, SITA, signed a five-year extension with Heathrow Airport to support its vast and growing network infrastructure. The agreement sees SITA providing a wide range of network, telecommunications, and connectivity services, while introducing innovative new solutions to business operating within Heathrow. SITA has built a strong relationship with Heathrow since […]

  • Destinations
  • Events
  • Exhibitions

South Eveleigh announces winter series for August

Australia’s premier technology precinct, South Eveleigh, celebrates winter with a month-long series of community-focused and immersive experiences from 5 to 31 August 2024. The winter series programs aim to fuse entertainment, technology, education, food and beverage, and social responsibility. Portfolio manager for Mirvac, Jamie Toko, said the engaging four-week series will showcase South Eveleigh as […]

  • Events

Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street partners with Royal Botanic Gardens’ Lightscape show

The Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street has announced a partnership with the renowned Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and its dazzling light show, Lightscape. The partnership looks to take guests to experience the light, nature, and wonder of the stunning display with a special hotel package. Lightscape promises to transform the Botanic Gardens after dark with […]

  • Hotels

The Rox Hobart offers premier venue for chic and intimate wedding celebrations

Known for providing boutique accommodations that offer a uniquely Tasmanian immersion, The Rox invites couples to experience its intimate charm for small wedding celebrations. The Rox Penthouse boasts 211sqm of self-contained opulence that features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and can accommodate up to six guests. It also has indoor and outdoor spaces, including a rooftop […]

  • Travel Agents

New class of emerging leaders starts ATEC’s 2024 ELITE program

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has launched its 8th Emerging Leaders of Inbound Tourism Excellence (ELITE) program, the latest round to begin a journey to join more than 170 graduates. This year’s cohort of 30 comes from across all states and territories and represents the largest group since the program’s inception in 2015. “ATEC […]