Cunard Cancels Cruises Into 2021 and Makes Sweeping Deployment Changes

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2

Cunard will be extending its pause in operations from November 2020 until March 25, 2021 for its ship Queen Elizabeth; until April 18, 2021 for Queen Mary 2 and until May 16, 2021 for Queen Victoria, the company announced.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said:  “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. 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.

Fincantieri | Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth

“Queen Elizabeth’s new program 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.”

All new itineraries onboard the Queen Elizabeth will be available to book from September 29, 2020.

Palethorpe continued: “Additionally, recognising the immense disappointment of those onboard Queen Mary 2’s curtailed World Voyage this year, and the cancellation of her World Voyage in 2021, we are delighted that Queen Mary 2 will sail a classic World Voyage in 2022. This will replace her scheduled sailings departing January 3, 2022 to April 3, 2022, including the voyage to South America.”

The new 104 night adventure will depart from Southampton on January 10, 2022 and include calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali before returning to Southampton via Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. The ship will sail through the Suez Canal both on the outbound journey and on return. It will be bookable, either as a full world voyage or as one of six sectors, from September 8, 2020.

“Given the current uncertainty, the complexity of our scheduled World Voyage with our international mix of guests visiting many countries and continents, each with its own evolving travel regulations was a very real factor in our decision making.”

Rumoured sale of Cunard and Seabourn denied by Carnival Corporation

Cunard - Ships and Itineraries 2020, 2021, 2022 | CruiseMapper

Carnival Corporation has scotched speculation that luxury brands Cunard and Seabourn could be sold as the cruise giant seeks to navigate recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company was responding to a specialist media report.

Global shipping news service TradeWinds claimed a sale could be prompted by ageing passenger demographics and a need to generate higher returns.

But a Carnival Corporation spokesman said: “There is no truth to this rumour.

“Cunard and Seabourn are iconic brands for our company, and both lines have a strong track record of success over the years.”

The company announced that it is to dispose of a further two ships, in addition to the disposal of 13 ships across its brands and the delayed delivery of new vessels announced earlier this month.

Four older Holland America Line ships have been sold, including two to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, while P&O Cruises’ Oceana has left the fleet and Greek line Celestyal Cruises acquired Costa Cruises’ Costa NewRomantica.

In June, Carnival Corporation said it was speeding up the disposal of ships after a registered $2.4 billion adjusted net loss in the three months to May 31.

It has raised at least $10 billion through a series of financial transactions since March, and had “taken significant actions to preserve cash and secure additional financing to maximise its liquidity”.

It also confirmed $8.8 billion of credit facilities to fund ship deliveries originally planned through to 2023.

Cunard sailings by Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria are suspended until November 1 and Queen Elizabeth until November 23.

Seabourn’s five-ship fleet is on an extended pause in operations into October and November.

The brand had previously announced a suspension of its global ship operations from March 14 until June 30.

Cunard extends cancellations until November

Cunard extends cancellations until November

Cunard is further extending the cancellation of cruises until November, blaming the continued impact of Covid-19.

Flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will have sailings cancelled until November 1 and Queen Elizabeth until November 23.

The extension follows the sister brand extending its pause in operations until October 15.

Cunard will be communicating with all passengers, and their travel agents, who are booked on affected voyages.

Passengers booked on cancelled cruises will automatically be given a 125% future cruise credit which can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021 on any voyage on sale at the time of booking.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: “With many differing restrictions across countries, people’s ability to move freely and safely across borders remains seemingly someway in the distance.

“For Cunard, where we celebrate having a truly international mix of guests and sail all over the world, this becomes particularly impactful. We also need to better understand the implications Covid-19 will have onboard our ships.

“We are therefore working, at the highest level possible, with government bodies, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the CDC – and Public Health England, as well as the industry collective body – Clia – and other expert medical professionals to review every aspect of a holiday with us.”

He added: “Whilst we have always taken pride in having the highest levels of health and safety we are looking at enhanced protocols across all aspects of ship life and experiences onshore.

“We will only return to service when we have a comprehensive restart protocol with the stamps of approval and accreditation from the most trusted and informed sources.”