Saga has announced that it will be suspending all cruise operations for six weeks amidst the coronavirus pandemic, in a blow that it estimates could reduce its profits by up to £15million.
The over 50s travel firm made the announcement following the government's new travel advice amidst outbreaks, advising people aged 70 and over and those with pre-existing health conditions against cruise ship travel.
As a result, Saga has suspended all cruise operations until the 1st May 2020.
The cruise line said that all affected passengers will be contacted and be offered either a full refund, or credit for future departures.
In a statement the brand said that "the health and safety of customers and colleagues is our number one priority".
Saga's not the only cruise line that has been forced to suspend operations.
Hours before Boris gave his speech, both Princess Cruises and MSC Cruises announced cancellations, while Richard Branson also revealed he would push back the launch of Virgin's first cruise ship Scarlet Lady, who was due to sail her inaugural season in April.
In response to the pandemic, a number of cruise lines have taken extra precautions to protect passengers and crew members including pre-embarkation screenings and upping the santisation of cruise ships.
A number of companies are also offering new flexible cancellation policies for both new and existing customers, allowing passengers to rebook for travel at a later date, or cancel their cruise and receive future cruise credit instead.
If you have a cruise booked, you should check the FCO's latest cruise holiday advice before you travel.
The FCO tells Brits: "All cruise ship passengers or those planning to go on a cruise should be aware a COVID-19 outbreak on board is possible, and your travel may be disrupted.
"If you already have cruise travel plans, you should speak to your travel operator or the travel company you booked with for further advice.
"If you’re already on a cruise ship, you should follow the advice of the ship’s authorities. This includes complying with any precautionary health measures or quarantine procedures that may be put in place."
If you are due to travel, make sure to follow the World Health Organisation's (WHO) advice on how to protect yourself from the virus.
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