IN THE ‘MESSAGE FROM THE BRIDGE’ I referred to the tensions with Iran in the Gulf, following the seizure in July of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero.
Concern over the situation has led to P&O Cruises cancelling a series of cruises through the Gulf of Oman scheduled to operate from October until March next year. The voyages – ranging between 7 and 24 nights duration – were scheduled to operate out of Dubai on board the 77,499gt Oceana and were mainly scheduled to include visits to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Muscat and Sir Bani Yas Island.
P&O Cruises’ president Paul Ludlow said: “The increased tension in the region highlighted by the attacks on tankers in the Straits and the detention of a Britishflagged tanker by the Iranian authorities means, as a British company flying the Red Ensign, it is not advisable for us to maintain our planned Dubai and Arabian Gulf programme this winter season.
“We have therefore taken the unusual step of withdrawing Oceana from the region for the upcoming season. Whilst we appreciate our guests will be disappointed, the safety of our guests and crew is absolutely paramount and given our UK status, coupled with the uncertainty in the region, we have had to make this difficult decision.”