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Cunard to offer staycation sailings as it cancels more international trips

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
·2-min read

Cunard is to operate voyages around the UK’s coastline this summer after extending the suspension of its international sailings.

The firm said it will operate staycation trips for UK residents-only on its ship Queen Elizabeth.

Details of timings and itineraries will be announced later this month.

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The sailings will replace a number of international cruises that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cunard is owned by Carnival, whose other UK firm, P&O Cruises, announced last week it will offer a series of week-long UK sailings this summer.

Maritime minister Robert Courts told MPs on Monday that domestic cruises could be permitted from May 17.

The Government has advised people to avoid all cruises since July 9, 2020, due to the virus crisis.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: “With the UK Government confirming that domestic travel is close on the horizon, we are introducing a series of exciting, shorter duration holidays for Brits looking for the perfect staycation in Cunard luxury this summer.

“These will be sailings from Southampton for UK residents around the UK and will make the very most of the summer sunshine.

“However, with international travel restrictions still in place, we unfortunately need to cancel a number of departures.

“We know how much everyone is desperately looking forward to longed-for holidays overseas, so to all affected by this news I am sincerely sorry for the disappointment this will cause.”

Queen Elizabeth’s previous itinerary for departures up to October 11 has been cancelled.

Sailings have also been suspended for Cunard’s other two ships, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2, up to August 27 and November 12 respectively.

Customers with affected bookings will automatically receive credit for a future sailing worth 125% of the cost of their original trip.

They can also request a cash refund.