SOUTHAMPTON-based cruise giant Carnival UK has confirmed that almost a third of its land-based staff have left in a wave of redundancies.

The company – which owns the P&O Cruises and Cunard names – said it was “devastated” to have axed the jobs.

Carnival UK told staff in May that it was planning a “large number of redundancies” after the coronavirus crisis put the cruise industry into hibernation.

Carnival plans "large number of redundancies" in Southampton over coronavirus lockdown

In a statement, Carnival UK president Simon Palethorpe told the Daily Echo: "The Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected the holidays of our guests but it has also impacted every part of our business; our future deployment; the guest experience; our supply chain and our people on ship and on shore.

"Due to this impact we have had to take some really tough decisions to ensure that we can sustain and protect our business for the future. Following a period of collective consultation nearly a third of our shore based staff very sadly left our business on June 30 and another significant proportion are taking a period of sabbatical.

"We are devastated to have had to take this action which has affected so many talented and dedicated colleagues.

"We appreciate it is a very difficult and unsettling time for everyone and we followed a clear and fair consultation process and considered all individual suggestions for new ways of working.

"At the current time as our operations are paused, we are working at the highest levels to develop a comprehensive restart programme to phase our ships back into service with enhanced and approved protocols that will keep everyone on board well and still give our guests an amazing holiday.”