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June 2 updates: Québec ports' record season dashed, P&O Cruises suspends to mid-October

CRUISE Britannia.jpg
P&O Cruises' Britannia
Here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

Cruise the Saint Lawrence seeks government help for ports

Until Canada's decision to ban cruise calls through October, the 2020 season for the nine ports of Cruise the Saint Lawrence had been shaping up to be the best of the past decade, association president Tony Boemi said.

'Over the years, numerous tourism-based businesses have developed alongside or as a result of cruise industry activities, leading to the creation of thousands of jobs and contributing substantially to economic growth in multiple towns, cities and regions. We appeal to the government to help these businesses traverse the crisis at hand,' Boemi said.

This year, a total of 560 ship days in port and 567,000 passenger-days were booked for Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Havre Saint-Pierre, Gaspé and Îles de la Madeleine.

$1bn economic impact

The overall contribution of the international cruise sector in Québec would have amounted to $1bn in direct, indirect and induced economic impact, as well as 7,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to Cruise the Saint Lawrence.

Looking to 2021, a unified sanitation and response plan will be introduced to ensure safety across the board. A new sustainable development strategy will also be instituted in the coming months to ensure respect for the environment and host communities.

P&O Cruises suspends to mid-October

P&O Cruises extended its pause in operations until Oct. 15. Passengers on canceled sailings will receive automatically receive a 125% future cruise credit, which may be used through the end of 2021. FCCs may also be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any existing booking and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else.

Otherwise, passengers can request a refund online prior to Nov. 30, 2020.

P&O Cruises also introduced a 5% deposit for new bookings made between May 27 and June 29.. This offer is available on applicable 'early saver' and 'select price' holidays of 19 nights or fewer from January 2021.