Cunard cancels 4 cruises, delays return of the Queen Mary 2

Finance and Business

FILE – In this Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, file photo, the Queen Mary 2 prepares to depart the Red Hook Terminal, bound for Southampton, England, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The Manhattan skyline is at left. Cunard Line is pushing back the return of the Queen Mary 2, which has already been idled for 18 months because of the pandemic. Cunard said Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, it is canceling the ship’s first four scheduled cruises, which included two trips across the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Cunard Line canceled the first four scheduled trips of the Queen Mary 2 in more than a year, saying Thursday that after the long layoff during the pandemic it wants the ship’s next cruises “to be closer to home.”

The four canceled sailings had been scheduled between Nov. 14 and Dec. 10. They included a trip from Cunard’s base in Southampton, England, to New York, and a transatlantic return voyage.

Instead, the ship’s return will be delayed until Nov. 28, and its first two sailings will be short round trips from Southampton.

Cunard said the ship will arrive in New York on Dec. 20 and make its first sailing from U.S. waters two days later, going to the Caribbean. The two-day break is to allow for inspections under “the latest regulatory requirements,” said Cunard, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.

The cancellations are the latest in a series of fits and starts for the cruise industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic and struggled to meet health conditions set by the U.S. health authorities.

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