The policy, put in place across both cruise lines, applies to all guests with bookings departing before 31 August 2020, giving them improved flexibility.
All guests who are set to cruise with either line, across both new and existing bookings, will be able to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before their departure.
Those who cancel their cruises will receive a future cruise credit equivalent to the cancellation fees, which can be redeemed on any sailing up until the end of March 2022 – with bookings made before 31 December 2021.
The reminding monies will be transferred back to their account.
For those who’ve booked a cruise with either Cunard or P&O, and are still keen on travelling, the cruise lines are offering a cruising bonus, giving passengers additional money to spend on board.
The bonuses only apply to bookings made before 11 March 2020, and differ between the cruise lines (both owned by Carnival Corporation).
On P&O Cruises, those sailing one to three-night itineraries can get £100, four to seven getting £200, eight to 14 getting £400 and those sailing 15-night itineraries getting £600.
On Cunard, known for its luxurious traditional sailings, those sailing one to three nights will get $150, (approx £116), four to seven will get $300, eight to 14 $600 and 15 nights plus receiving $900.
Guests who are travelling after August 2020 are able to transfer free of charge to an alternative cruise date, providing the full balance of their holiday has been paid.
Cunard and P&O Cruises are the latest in a long line of cruise lines to amend their cancellation policies, with other brands including those owned by Royal Caribbean Group and Norweigan Cruise Line Holdings.
Lines such as Royal Caribbean, Azamara, Silversea, Celebrity Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, NCL and Oceania are all included in the lines.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has also launched a ‘Booking Reassurance Guarantee’ for passengers who are concerned, allowing them to cancel their cruise in return for a future cruise voucher, penalty-free, within the same year of departure.
MSC Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Viking Cruises and other Carnival Corp brands have also adapted their policies.