P&O Australia Cancels New Zealand Cruises

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Anyone who has wanted to cruise around New Zealand will need to wait even longer now P&O Australia has canceled its season around the beautiful islands through November 27. Despite discussions that have been ongoing with the New Zealand authorities, there is too much uncertainty as to when cruises could potentially resume. 

P&O Australia is one of the very few cruise lines globally that did not sail since the global pause in operations commenced in March 2020. The cruise line will not be sailing anywhere until the end of May, as a cruise ban remains in place in Australia and will likely not return to New Zealand until June 2023. 

New Zealand Cruises Canceled Through November 27

It has been one year and 11 months since cruise ships sailed from Australian ports. This timeline will be even longer for cruises to New Zealand onboard the P&O Australia ships. Due to the absence of an agreed restart plan between New Zealand and the cruise line, the cancellation of the 2022 Auckland cruise season has been announced. 

The company said in a press release: 

“While P&O Cruises has had useful discussions with New Zealand officials and expects to have further contact, uncertainty remains as to when cruising is likely to resume there, which has made it difficult to sustain the 2022 Auckland cruise season.”

The new round of cancelations has affected 21 cruises scheduled to depart from July 5, 2022, to November 27, 2022. This means that P&O Cruises Australia will not be returning to New Zealand until June 2023. 

P&O Australia Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: aiyoshi597 / Shutterstock.com

“P&O Cruises looks forward to returning to New Zealand next year for an Auckland cruise season beginning in June 2023. P&O Cruises and sister brands also remain hopeful of being able to cruise to New Zealand from Australia later this year.”

The cruise line, part of Carnival Corporation, says that it acknowledges the understandable disappointment of guests who have seen even more cruises canceled. 

It acknowledges the understandable disappointment of guests whose cruises have been canceled and apologizes for disrupting their holiday plans. Guests whose bookings are affected by the cancellation of the 2022 Auckland season will be notified of the options available via P&O or their appointed travel agent.

When is P&O Australia Sailing Again?

Despite recent positive signs from Australia that a restart could be coming in the next few months, nothing is certain yet. Australia recently extended a cruise ban through April 17 that has been in place since March 2020. Yet, industry representing organization CLIA, through Managing director Joel Katz, is more optimistic now regarding a possible restart than it has been in recent months: 

“Though the cruise ban has been extended, we can now see hope for thousands of Australians whose livelihoods depend on cruise tourism,” Mr. Katz said. “Australia is still the only major cruise market in the world without confirmed plans for cruising’s resumption, so it’s important that governments work in partnership with the cruise industry to achieve a swift solution.”

As it stands, P&O Australia cruises from Cairns, Australia, have been canceled through June 29, 2022. All other departures from Australian ports have been canceled through May 28, 2022. All Papua New Guinea itineraries have been canceled through October 3, 2022. And now, all New Zealand cruises have been canceled through November 27, with cruises likely to restart in June of 2023. 

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