P&O Cruises has cancelled its cruises in the Gulf over fears its ships could be targeted by Iran.

The cruise line said it had been monitoring escalating tensions in the Strait of Hormuz and had taken the “difficult decision” to call off all trips in the region until next year.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said the company had withdrawn its Oceana ship from the area.

The Stena Impero has been seen in satellite images. Pic: TankerTrackers
Image:
The Stena Impero was seized by Iran in the Gulf. Pic: TankerTrackers

“Whilst we appreciate our 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,” he said.

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Guest will be given a refund, the company said.

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British-flagged ships have become a target in the region after UK forces helped seize an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar which was suspected of smuggling oil to Syria.

Last month, the British-flagged Stena Impero was seized by Iranian forces and its crew are still being held.

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P&O’s Oceana ship – which is registered in Bermuda – flies the Red Ensign, a red flag featuring a Union Jack in the top left corner.

The company’s president said he was concerned by its associations with Britain, which could make the ship a target for Iranian authorities.

Currently, no ship owners have decided to swap their British flags for a neutral country.

Earlier this week the UK joined a US-led mission to protect civilian ships in the Gulf.

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