MSC Cruises is to halt cruises by another month to the end of May.

The company previously announced the temporary halting of all its ships globally through to April 30.

But that has been extended fleet-wide until May 29 due to the continued “extraordinary circumstances the world is facing in connection with the Covid-19 virus global health emergency”.

The decision came as rivals P&O Cruises and Cunard extended their pause in operations from April 11 to May 15.

MSC Cruises UK & Ireland is offering affected passengers a future cruise credit of 125% to be used on a sailing of their choice at any point through to the end of 2021.

The line is “working tirelessly with all guests and their travel agents to address the impact of this necessary decision to their bookings on our ships up to 29 May and it is genuinely sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause them.

“By announcing this now, the company intends to provide travel agents and guests who are booked on affected sailings with as much time as possible to move their booking to a future cruise.”