P&O Cruises has cancelled its winter 2019/20 Dubai and Arabian Gulf programme in light of rising tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.
President Paul Ludlow said the decision came following the detention by Iranian authorities of a British-flagged tanker flying the Red Ensign.
P&O said it had closely monitored the situation in the strategic sea passage between the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman and taken advice from external authorities before making its decision.
All ex-UK bookings will be cancelled and guests will be issued a full refund.
“The increased tension in the region, highlighted by the attacks on tankers in the straits and the detention of a British-flagged 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,” said Ludlow.
“We have therefore taken the unusual step of withdrawing Oceana from the region for the upcoming season. While we appreciate 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.”
P&O is instead offering a new range of holiday options onboard Oceana, which will go on sale at 9am on 20 August.
These will include departures from Southampton sailing to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands, as well as a 35-night pre-Christmas cruise to the Caribbean.