Carnival Cruise Lines has cancelled a programme of summer 2009 cruise sailings from Dover.
The ship Carnival Liberty is to stay based in Miami sailing to the Caribbean instead of re-positioning to Europe next summer as originally scheduled.
This will mean the cancellation of the ship’s 2009 summer schedule from Dover of 12 and 13-night cruises to Northern Europe and Western Europe respectively.
The decision was based on “current market conditions, continued economic uncertainty and high air costs to Europe which impact US visitors wishing to cruise in Europe,” a statement said.
UK based passengers booked on Carnival Liberty will receive full refunds or be offered alternative cruises by sister Carnival Corporation brands.
UK holiday Passengers are also being offered the option of being rebooked on Carnival Dream, to be launched in Italy in autumn 2009, offering Mediterranean cruises from the port of Rome. Those choosing this option will be given an extra $50 onboard credit.
In addition to three 12-night Grand Mediterranean cruises from Rome (Civitavecchia) in September and October 2009, Carnival Dream will also operate a 16 day transatlantic crossing from Rome in late October 2009.
Carnival Cruise Lines’ UK office is also working with other sister brands including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises to offer comparable cruise deals to affected passengers.
Lynn Narraway, Carnival Cruise Lines’ UK managing director, said: “We would like to apologise for the disruption this will cause our UK passengers, and our trade partners who have worked so hard with us to build up our ex-UK cruise presence in the UK market.
“As international operators, we are focusing on our core Miami and Port Canaveral cruises, which continue to be most popular for the UK market, and which also remain perennially popular with US passengers, especially in the current economic climate.
“We are very sorry that we are now unable to offer our Carnival Liberty ex-Dover sailings for 2009, but very much hope to be back in the future.”