P&O Cruises extends pause in operations until 31 July 2020

P&O Cruises is extending its pause in operations up to and including July 31, 2020 as a result of the continued impact of COVID-19.

With the current lockdown in place and government guidelines around the world advising against travel it has been necessary to extend the pause in our operations.

Our ambition is to give our guests amazing holidays as soon as global guidelines will allow and we are working through the evolving advice, as well as restrictions in ports of call around the world, as we consider how we phase our ships back into service.

We want to return to sailing as soon as we possibly can but it is clear that in light of the ongoing government and global guidelines and worldwide restrictions, it is not viable for us to resume operations at the moment.

We are so sorry not to be able to give our guests their summer holiday but the global situation and continued lockdown make it impossible to reintroduce sailings for the next few months.

We are working hard, given what we know currently, on a plan for future itineraries – pending a little more clarity on the longer term impact of COVID-19 and timing on the world’s return to normality.

We will make sure that a holiday with P&O Cruises adheres to relevant guidelines to protect everyone on board without compromising enjoyment and experience. These new stringent measures will be in place as soon as we reintroduce our ships and we will get used to them in the same way as we got used to airline hand luggage restrictions. They will become the new normal and they will give us reassurance and peace of mind.

Here’s P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow with a few words on the extension to the pause:

All guests with a holiday booked up to and including 31 July this year will automatically receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC)

There’s no need to contact us; your Future Cruise Credit will be automatically applied within the coming weeks against each individual on the booking. 100% of the money you paid will be bonded by ABTA and ATOL (for fly-cruises) so you can be secure in the knowledge that your monies are protected. Guests should retain all booking documentation, receipts, confirmation, invoice documents, ATOL Certificate (for fly-cruises) and proof of payment, such as credit card statements.

You have until the end of December 2021 to put your FCC toward a booking for any holiday on sale during that period. They can also be used to upgrade your cabin or to book a second cabin for your friends and family on an existing holiday booking. Your FCC can also be gifted or transferred to friends or family. Find out more here.

For any new holiday bookings, we would recommend that the FCC is used as soon as possible as 2021 sailings are filling up. If you have a specific itinerary, date or ship in mind then it is always better to book early, particularly given the demand we are seeing for next year.

If, for any reason, the enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit offer does not meet your needs, please let us know via this web form. We are unable to facilitate any such queries via our Customer Contact Centre at this time. 


The temporary slowdown of work by Meyer Werft in Germany has affected Iona’s final outfitting and date for delivery. We are all so sorry for the disappointment this will cause to our guests who had booked Iona’s maiden cruise, her first Norwegian Fjords sailings and Ionafest on 4 July. Once we have more clarity on Iona’s delivery date then we will know the date of the maiden cruise and we hope to reschedule Ionafest at a later date.

Future updates

For all forthcoming holidays we will continue to work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health England so that you can still enjoy the holiday you deserve.

Given the changing advice, restrictions and evolving situation, as you can imagine, our Customer Contact Centre has been overwhelmed so please only contact us by phone if it is a matter of urgency. We are working hard to support you all; please bear with us and do watch our social media channels and website for further updates. We will post all our news and updates there and so this should give you all the answers you need. Thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

Take care of yourselves and we hope to be off, sailing with you again soon.  

President Paul Ludlow responds to the hottest topics raised by hundreds of questions sent in by guests. In the first of two videos, he answers questions on refunds, loyalty points, and how we plan to come back even stronger.

In our second video with president Paul Ludlow, he answers guests' questions on what’s next for Iona, our crew and staying healthy on board once the ships set sail again.

For media enquiries only, contact: michele.andjel@carnivalukgroup.com