Published on Monday, March 16, 2020

More cruise lines suspend operations

P&O Cruises, Cunard and A-ROSA have become the latest cruise lines to suspend operations for 30 days, while TUI River Cruises has postponed its launch.

P&O and Cunard sailings have been suspended until April 11, 2020.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "Having reviewed all of our ship operations and industry recommendations, we will bring our ships back to Southampton and suspend any new cruises until April 11, 2020."

Ludlow continued: "These truly are unprecedented times; the likes of which we certainly have never seen before. We are so sorry that the holidays of many of our guests will be disrupted but our priority is to safeguard the wellbeing of our guests and crew and by taking these extraordinary measures we will be able to do so.

"Given the immediate situation we are also looking at Iona's itineraries in light of current restrictions in Norway and will provide an update to guests when we have more clarity."

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said:  "Having reviewed all of our ship operations and industry recommendations, we have decided no new guests or crew will be joining our ships as we suspend operations until April 11, 2020."

All guests impacted directly by this temporary suspension are being contacted regarding their voyage and their options.

Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will be returning to Southampton and the cruise line is reviewing Queen Elizabeth's planned itineraries.

Meanwhile, TUI River Cruises has delayed its launch and has cancelled sailings until and including May 2 2020.

The first public sailings were due to depart on March 29 with itineraries on a number of European waterways.   

Customers booked on to departures up to and including May 2 will get a full refund or can re-book onto any other available sailing until October 31.     

If they choose to amend to a later sailing and the new cruise is more expensive the difference in cost will be covered.   And if it costs less than the original booking they will be refunded the difference.

TUI said: "We are contacting customers directly, prioritising those with the most immediate sailings.   We are asking people not to ring the call centre and for anyone with a later April booking to be patient. 

"We have been working hard for the last year to get our three ships river-worthy and to welcome our first guests on-board, so of course this is disappointing.   But in the current unprecedented situation we know our customers will understand and support this decision."

A-ROSA River Cruises has suspended its cruises on the Danube and Rhine until April 3 and on the Rhône and Seine until April 15 2020.  

A spokeswoman said: "We are currently liaising with all our tour operator and travel agency partners to provide them with all the latest information for their customers. We are offering free re-booking to a later date in either the 2020 or 2021 season and guests will receive an additional on board credit of €50 per person. They will also receive a special discount of 30% off a future A-ROSA cruise."

Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line and CMV have also announced they have cancelled sailings.

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