Times may seem a bit dark at present, but the cruise and travel industries are here to remind you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

As the UK comes together this evening at 8pm (26 March) to show its heartfelt appreciation and support of the NHS and its incredible staff, who have been working tirelessly to help patients infected with coronavirus, P&O Cruises has shared its own special message of support and thanks.

Following in the footsteps of Princess Cruises – which last week beamed the message “We Will Be Back” from the balcony cabins of its ship Sky Princess after it was announced that the line would be suspending sailings due to the coronavirus outbreak – the British cruise line decided to light up its iconic British ship Britannia with a similarly heartwarming message while she is docked in Southampton.

 

Senior vice president of P&O Cruises Paul Ludlow took to twitter to share this incredible image of the line’s beloved ship Britannia, which had been emblazoned with the message “#❤️NHS’, with the words: “@pandocruises #Britannia lights up in support of tomorrow’s #NHS illuminations #ProudToSupport”.

One Twitter user wrote back: “Wow P&O can’t wait to get back to normal and get on my cruise, stay safe all”, while another said: This NHS nurse loves you too @pandocruises @PaulLudlowUK Red heartShipBlue heart”.

The light display was a trial for a multi-ship illumination, also featuring on P&O ships Aurora and Oceana in Dover, taking place today (Thursday 26 March).

 

Earlier this week, the vice president also sent a special message to passengers who have been affected by the cruise lines’ decision to cancel sailings due to the coronavirus outbreak, asking them to show “forbearance and patience” while they deal with the mass cancellations and assuring them they will be looked after.

In a message for passengers, Ludlow said: “I want to assure you of one thing, though, P&O Cruises will look after you, our guests. These are not just empty words.

“A travel company is nothing without the loyalty of its customers and P&O Cruises is nothing without the loyalty of its guests, both guests who have been cruising with us for many years and guests who have yet to sail with us but have made the decision to book a holiday with us in the future.”

He continued: “I am…aware that some of you have stated you are frustrated at some of the changes we have had to make to our policies.

“While I understand your concerns, I would ask you to bear with us as we work through the multitude of new guidelines from government and industry bodies, including Abta.”

“These are being updated regularly as this situation evolves and we are striving to strike the right balance between doing our very best for our guests and working in line with the rest of the travel industry in what will be, without doubt, the most challenging period the travel industry has ever seen.

“P&O Cruises needs you, more than ever, to stay with us and to show some forbearance and patience.

“Also, I promise you that I fully understand the disappointment caused for many of you, given your holidays have been curtailed, have been cancelled or are looking unlikely in the current situation.

“We are working through the very complex plan for our resumption of sailings and we will be sharing that once completed.”

At 8pm tonight (Thursday), the UK will take a minute to put its hands together and make some noise for the doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists and all the NHS staff who are working hard to help those affected by coronavirus.

Please open your windows and front doors, stand on your balcony or in your garden and show your support for these heroes. #ProudToSupport

Visit gov.uk for the latest coronavirus travel advice.