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Coronavirus Kent: P&O Cruise liners Oceana and Aurora dock at Port of Dover after cruises suspended during Covid-19 lockdown

More cruise liners have docked at a Kent port as the cruise industry dies its best to halt the spread of deadly Covid-19.

The P&O Oceana and Aurora docked at the Port of Dover after the travel company announced it was suspending all its cruises on March 16.

The P&O Oceana and Aurora at the Port of Dover
The P&O Oceana and Aurora at the Port of Dover

A Port of Dover spokesman said: "The Port is supporting its cruise customers by offering lay-by provision for their vessels to help them bring their cruises back home to the UK.

"Currently we are hosting two P&O Cruises vessels - Aurora and Oceana.Everyone on board is fit and healthy and the crew are remaining on-board to protect the local community as well as themselves.

"Food and supplies are being provided by their normal specialist suppliers so there will be no impact on the availability of food and other supplies in local supermarkets.

"COVID-19 is having a significant economic impact on all of us in the cruise industry, so it’s important that we work together and support each other as we navigate through some difficult times.

"The Port of Dover is pleased to assist P&O Cruises as part of its wider response to the current situation."

The Oceana cruise ship. Picture: Steve Salter
The Oceana cruise ship. Picture: Steve Salter

A P&O Cruises spokesman said: "Having reviewed all of our ship operations and industry recommendations, P&O Cruises is bringing our ships home to the UK and suspending any new cruises until April 11, 2020.

"This pause in operations has been done in an abundance of caution to support the global effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.

"Our home port of Southampton, unfortunately in the current climate, does not have berth availability for all our ships. We are consequently working with other UK ports to berth our ships. Two of our ships, Aurora and Oceana, will be berthed in the Port of Dover while Azura will be berthed at the Isle of Portland.

"We are taking the utmost caution and as a precautionary measure, all shore leave for P&O Cruises crew has been cancelled with crew remaining on board for the docking duration. No visitors are permitted to our ships, other than the very few people essential to official business.

"We are extremely grateful for the support that all our partner ports are providing and the understanding of our crew."

All other cruise liners are affected including Saga and Virgin Voyages, who launched their first liner in Dover last month.

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