News broke earlier this week that Cunard's prestigious Queen Victoria cruise ship would be heading for dry docks in Germany in mid-October to have works carried out to its propulsion system.

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Cruises cancelled after Queen Victoria mechanical failure

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The ship is currently sailing off the coast of Portugal but at speeds 10 per cent lower than usual.  While the mechanical failure does not pose a safety risk to passengers, it does mean that the ship will take a lot longer to get anywhere.  Cunard has made changes to the itinerary of the ship's next Mediterranean cruise and has been forced to cancel a 16 day Adriatic cruise in October while repairs are carried out.

This will come as disappointing news to those cruise goers who had been eargerly awaiting their next voyage.  Customers of Cunard affected by the cruise cancellation have been offered a full refund or a switch to another cruise.  While this may be frustrating, clearly the cruise cannot go ahead as planned and Cunard are observing their own booking terms and conditions by offering customers a full refund.  Many of those affected will have booked a cruise package holiday with Cunard.  In those circumstances, Regulation 13 of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 kick in.  Arguably, customers who agree to switch cruises should be offered a superior alternative at no extra cost or receive a refund to reflect the difference between their original booking and what they actually receive if they can only be accommodated on a cruise of a "lower quality." 

Chris Deacon

Solicitor - Claims Abroad team

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