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P&O confirms further cruise cancellations for 2025: 'This has been necessary'

The cruise line will be folded into its sister line Carnival Cruise Line and it has cause travel pain for many in Australia.

P&O Pacific Adventure cruises
More P&O cruises will be cancelled in March 2025 as the company shuts down after 90 years. (Source: Getty)

More P&O cruises meant to set sail in early 2025 have been cancelled as the iconic brand begins its shutdown after nearly a century on the seas. Parent company Carnival Cruises revealed earlier this week it would wind P&O down and its operations would be folded into its sister line, Carnival Cruise Line.

The news sparked devastation for some travellers who had been looking forward to getting on the high seas. Mum-of-four Jemma Dwyer told Yahoo Finance her family’s four-night cruise from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island was a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip and was now shelved.

But sadly, there will be more pain for cruise planners as the company revealed several additional trips have to be cancelled.

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Are you impacted by P&O's shutdown? Email stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

P&O initially revealed all itineraries on Pacific Explorer cruise lines scheduled to sail after March 2 next year would be cancelled.

But the company has now outlined the other itineraries that won't be heading off on their trips.

  • Pacific Adventure: V515, V516, V517, V518.

  • Pacific Encounter: I512, I513, I514.

These were scheduled to leave Sydney and Brisbane in mid to late March, however, P&O said the ships "will be taken out of service for a technology upgrade" and be rebranded by Carnival.

"If you are booked on one of these itineraries you will be contacted by Guest Services in the coming days with refund details. We apologise that this change has been necessary," the company said.

"If you are booked on any other P&O Cruises Australia itinerary your cruise is unaffected by this announcement and we look forward to welcoming you onboard soon."

No Carnival Cruise Line itineraries are impacted by this update.

Carnival Cruise Line said “high operating and regulator costs” were the reasons behind shutting P&O down.

Carnival CEO Josh Weinstein described P&O Cruises Australia as a “storied brand with an amazing team”.

"We're leveraging our scale in an even more meaningful way by absorbing an entire brand into the world's most popular cruise line," Weinstein said.

“Given the strategic reality of the South Pacific's small population and significantly higher operating and regulatory costs, we're adjusting our approach to give us the efficiencies we need to continue delivering an incredible cruise experience year-round to our guests in the region."

He said Carnival will be the biggest cruise operator in the region, with 19 ships calling on 78 destinations and representing nearly 60 per cent of the market.

The move has thrown many Aussies' travel plans into disarray and Jemma Dwyer revealed the heartache she experienced when she heard the news.

She explained to Yahoo Finance their four-day trip was the one thing her family had been looking forward to after being told they had to move homes because their landlord was selling their rental.

Family photo with Santa
Dwyer thinks P&O Cruises should be doing more to help impacted travellers. (Source: Supplied)

“I told my kids it doesn't matter, we have our cruise to look forward to, it will be our reward for needing to pack up and find a new place and all the stress,” she explained.

“My kids and I have been collecting cans and returning them and putting the money into a tin and that was going to be our spending money.”

But now that dream getaway was in the bin.

“Disappointed is an understatement,” Dwyer said. “This was going to be our first cruise … It was the cheapest cruise I could afford as I am on a low income and I booked the cruise for next year so I had time to pay it off with Ezypay.”

She said one of her kids cried when she told them they weren't going on the cruise.

Customers booked to travel on the impacted itineraries will be offered a full refund, or the option to receive a Future Cruise Credit with bonus onboard spending money.

You don't need to do anything to receive a full refund as P&O Cruises said it will automatically cancel your booking and process a refund.

If you want to accept the Future Cruise Credit, P&O Cruises said you need to complete an online form by midnight Sunday, June 30.

In a statement to Yahoo Finance, P&O Cruises’ parent company Carnival Corporation said it apologised for disrupting the holiday plans of guests.

“While there are no changes to itineraries until early 2025, some cruises set to sail from March will regrettably be cancelled as part of this transition. We sincerely apologise for this disruption of their cruise,” a spokesperson said.

“All guests affected by this are receiving direct communication from us and will be offered full refunds, or, we hope many will take us up on our enhanced special offer and rebook a new cruise with Encounter or Adventure, and let us show them the improvements along with the same great crew, entertainment and dining that our guests love.”

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