Princess Cruises will launch a series of short UK cruises departing in late summer, which go on sale later this month.
Following in the wake of sister company P&O, which has announced ‘staycation’ cruises this summer, Regal Princess and Sky Princess will offer short breaks and week-long holidays sailing from Southampton to UK guests. The shift to UK-focused cruises does mean that original ex-UK sailings on these ships, as well as on board Island Princess, have been cancelled through September 25, 2021.
Thanks to the line’s MedallionClass experience and OceanMedallion wearable device, guests will enjoy ‘Truly Touchless’ experiences that are in line with current health guidance. The technology allows for more streamlined check-in, simplified safety training, reductions in queuing and the ability to order food and drink to anywhere on the ship.
Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK & Europe, said: “Recent announcements from the UK government on the roadmap to the end of lockdown has given us all optimism that we will be able to have a summer break.
“When restrictions are lifted, it is clear that holidays in the UK will be the first to restart before the gradual return of international travel. We are eager to welcome our guests back on board as soon as it is safe to do so. By offering a series of short UK breaks, we can provide guests with a relaxed holiday at sea so they can enjoy a much-needed getaway.
“In order to offer these new cruises, we have unfortunately had to cancel our current ex-UK programme through late September. We share in the disappointment over these cancelled cruises and we appreciate the continued patience from our loyal guests and travel agents.”
Princess will offer to move guests booked on a cancelled voyage to the equivalent cruise in 2022. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 per cent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to ten per cent of the cruise fare paid (minimum £25) or a full refund to the original form of payment. Where there is no matched cruise available in 2022, guests will automatically receive a refundable FCC, or they can request a full refund.
Requests must be received through this online form by April 15, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.
For agents, Princess will transfer the commission earned from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022.
Roberts added: “We are extremely appreciative of the unwavering support from our trade partners and would like to thank them for their continued understanding and cooperation.
“As we prepare our ships for our return to service, we remain in close contact with CLIA, the UK government and associated bodies to monitor the latest travel guidance. More details of dates, itineraries and prices for the new UK cruises will be announced later this month. We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board to create summertime memories in a safe and relaxed environment.”
Through Princess Cruises’ ‘Book with Confidence’ policy, for bookings made by April 30, 2021, guests can cancel up to 30 days prior to sailing for voyages departing through October 31, 2021, and receive cancellation fees back as an FCC.