P&O Cruises is to pull out of the gulf for its winter season, following safety issues in the Strait of Hormuz.
The line was scheduled to begin its Arabia season from October 2019 to March 2020.
Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises president, said: “The increased tension in the region highlighted by the attacks on tankers in the Straits and the detention of a British-flagged tanker by the Iranian authorities means as a British company flying the Red Ensign it is not advisable for us to maintain our planned Dubai and Arabian Gulf programme this winter season.
“We have therefore taken the unusual step of withdrawing Oceana from the region for the upcoming season. Whilst we appreciate our guests will be disappointed, the safety of our guests and crew is absolutely paramount and given our UK status, coupled with the uncertainty in the region, we have had to make this difficult decision.”
All bookings will be cancelled and guests will be given a full refund.
A range of new options for Oceana will be on sale from 9am on August 20, 2019. This will include departures from Southampton sailing to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands, as well as a pre-Christmas 35 night cruise to the Caribbean.
Ludlow added: “We are also giving all these guests an exclusive offer on 2020/21 Dubai and Arabian Gulf holidays as well as this season’s Caribbean fly/cruises as we have two ships based in the Caribbean from October this year to March 2020 for winter sun holidays.”