Cunard delays operations return until Spring

Queen Mary 2's 2021 World Voyage abandoned due to ongoing uncertainty

Cunard has confirmed a further extension to is operations pause, from November 2020 until 25 March 2021 for its ship Queen Elizabeth; until 18 April 2021 for Queen Mary 2 and until 16 May 2021 for Queen Victoria.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe apologised for the continued cruise cancellations, saying the decision was made after “careful consideration” and reviewing the latest guidance by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

“We simply do not feel it would be sensible to start sailing again with our current schedule so we have reviewed future itineraries,” Palethorpe remarked.

He said that with Queen Elizabeth‘s return to the UK from Australia, and with ongoing uncertainty over the reopening of many ports and countries, the luxury ship’s return to previously planned voyages for 2021 was “not practical”.

“Therefore, in addition to the pause in operations, all of Queen Elizabeth’s sailings due to depart between 26 March 2021 and 13 December 2021 in and around Australia, Japan and Alaska, will be cancelled.”

Simon Palethrope, President of Cunard

Instead, Cunard will offer a collection of new shorter duration European cruises departing from Southampton. These new sailings will range from three to 14 nights in duration, beginning at the end of March 2021. The new program will also feature a series of week-long and 14-night voyages in the Mediterranean.

Originally scheduled to sail in March 2021, Australia’s first-ever Gardening Journey is also affected by the changes and will now re-start Cunard’s operations Down Under on 14 December 2021. Leading gardening experts such as Jamie Durie and Graham Ross will join this highly anticipated eight-night sailing from Sydney to share their knowledge and the latest garden trends with our guests during informative talks and dinners.

Queen Elizabeth’s entertainment program will have a green-fingered twist with opportunities to take part in a range of themed activities, hands-on workshops, trivia, special craft classes and lessons in cooking from your garden. Excursions at the popular ports of Hobart, Burnie, Melbourne and Eden will feature beautiful gardens alongside a range of local activities and sightseeing options.

All new itineraries on board Queen Elizabeth will be available to book from 29 September 2020.

The cancelled 2021 World Voyage of Queen Mary 2 will be replaced with a classic 104-night adventure in 2022, operating round trip from Southampton on 10 January 2022.

The new World Voyage includes calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali before returning to Southampton via Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. The ship will sail through the Suez Canal both on the outbound journey and on return. It will be bookable, either as a full world voyage or as one of six sectors, from 8 September 2020.

Queen Mary 2 at Circular Quay, Sydney

“Given the current uncertainty, the complexity of our scheduled World Voyage with our international mix of guests visiting many countries and continents, each with its own evolving travel regulations was a very real factor in our decision making.”

Cunard will be contacting guests and travel agents who are impacted and, once again, all guests who have had their voyage cancelled will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively can fill in the website form for a 100% refund.

For full details, visit www.cunard.com

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