P&O Cruises is relaxing Covid precautions and seeing passenger numbers increase after the worst of the pandemic appears to be over, company president Paul Ludlow said last night.
‘It really feels like we’re coming out the other side,’ he told me at a London event to promote the Caribbean debut of new ship Arvia this winter.
Mr Ludlow said the cancellation of seven cruises on Arcadia caused by crew being held up by Covid-related transport problems was ‘very much a short-term issue’.
Masks are now only required on board P&O Cruises ships in certain locations, such as the theatre, but not while dining or in bars. Testing passengers for Covid at the embarkation port is being replaced by self-administered checks at home. ‘It will be a much quicker and easier process,’ Mr Ludlow said.
‘We’re getting there,’ he added. ‘Nearly all the countries we visit now have policies and regulations that are much more relaxed on Covid. People were fearful they’d be stuck in a foreign country but it’s moving so fast.’
Passenger numbers are limited only by having to reserve some cabins for quarantine and isolation of any cases on board, he said, ‘so we’re pretty full’. ‘As we get further into the year we’ll get higher and higher.’