P&O Cruises extends sailing suspension until at least October over coronavirus – The Sun

P&O Cruises has extended its sailing suspension for another four months due to the coronavirus crisis.

The company said it is "working in close co-ordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of the company's already stringent health and safety protocols".

The cruise company originally cancelled all trips up until April 11, amid the pandemic, but this has since been extended until October 15.

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?'"

He added:" We are working with government and industry bodies at the highest possible level, such as Public Health England (PHE) and the US 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."

Passengers who have had their holidays cancelled will receive enhanced Future Cruise Credit which gives an additional 25 per cent on top of the amount paid for the holiday.

The 125 per cent credit will be valid until the end of 2021.

While the cruise company is offering refunds if requested, they have advised it can take up to 60 days to be processed.

Around 450 jobs are set to be axed at P&O Cruises and Cunard due to the coronavirus pandemic, while workers who get to keep their jobs will have their hours and pay slashed by 20 per cent.

Yet Carnival Cruises have seen a 600 per cent rise in ticket sales after announcing that they will start operations again in August.

A rep with Cruise Planners said passengers flocked to make bookings to grab cheap deals ahead of the sailings.

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