Cunard, the luxury British cruise line, has announced it is cancelling all of its sailings until 2021.
The cruise line announced the news today (25 August), in acknowledgement of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Guidance and “the complexity of operating world voyages”.
Cunard was set to resume operating in November 2020, but has now extended its pause in operations until 25 March 2021, at the earliest.
Queen Elizabeth will resume sailings on 25 March, while Queen Mary 2 will restart sailings on 18 April 2021. Finally, Queen Victoria will resume operations on 16 May 2021.
“We are so sorry to all those guests who were due to sail on any of the cancelled voyages and for the disappointment this news will cause,” said Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe.
“After very careful consideration and reviewing the latest guidance, we simply do not feel it would be sensible to start sailing again with our current schedule so we have reviewed future itineraries.
“Queen Elizabeth has returned to the UK and with ongoing uncertainty over the re-opening of many ports and countries, it is sadly not practical to continue her planned itineraries for 2021.
“Therefore, in addition to the pause in operations, all of Queen Elizabeth’s sailings due to depart between March 26, 2021 and December 13, 2021, in and around Australia, Japan and Alaska, will be cancelled.
“These voyages will be replaced with a programme of shorter duration European holidays ranging from three to 14 nights, departing from Southampton.
“These will start at the end of March 2021, with a series of scenic voyages around the coast of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and the Scottish Isles.
“There will also be short breaks to Amsterdam which will include an overnight in the city, as well as voyages to northern and southern European destinations including Norway and the Iberian coast, with several of these itineraries featuring overnight city stays.
“Queen Elizabeth’s new programme will be completed with a series of seven and 14-night voyages in the Mediterranean, sailing from Barcelona. It is an exciting new programme which I am sure will have great appeal.”
Despite the pause in operations, the cruise line has still been busy, making a series of generous food donations to charity during the height of the coronavirus lockdown.