Cruise Lines Extend Suspensions Through MAY or JUN Amid Pandemic
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Due to the continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of cruise lines have announced an extension to their pause of global cruise operations.
Here’s a summary:
Holland America Lineis suspending operations for an additional 30 days, cancelling sailings scheduled to depart through 14MAY, 2020.
All bookings will automatically be cancelled through 14MAY. Guests and their travel advisors will receive a notification from HAL "in the coming days" regarding options for selecting either a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of their booking value plus an additional $250 shipboard credit or a 100% refund.
“As the world addresses global health concerns, travel has come to a temporary standstill as communities take necessary precautions to protect themselves,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “All of us at Holland America Line are wishing everyone the best during this unprecedented time.”
Holland America Line says it will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when guests rebook.
MSC Cruisesis extending suspensions fleet-wide through 29MAY.
The company previously announced a temporary suspension until 30APR.
"As governments across the globe have since further strengthened ashore public health and safety measures to protect local populations and contain the further spread of the virus, today’s decision by MSC Cruises to further extend this extraordinary measure aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of such efforts," the cruise line said in a statement.
MSC is offering affected guests a Future Cruise Credit for the full amount paid plus a credit that can be used through the end of 2021.
Carnivalhas announced that it is pausing operations through 11MAY.
The cruise line said customers and travel advisors impacted by the extension will receive an email from Carnival with contain instructions to claim cancellation offers or refunds.
Sailings taking place after 11MAY have not been impacted, said Carnival.
Seabourn is extending the voluntarily pause of global operations for its five cruise ships for an additional 30 days, through 14MAY.
Guests on impacted voyages will receive a 125% refund of the fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit, which can be applied toward any future cruise through 31DEC, 2021. Guests can also receive a 100% refund.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdingsis suspending sailings until 10MAY across its brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Departures had previously been suspended until 12APR.
The extended suspension “contributes to the global efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has also resulted in travel restrictions and continued uncertainty regarding worldwide port closures and availability,” NCLH said.
Vikinghas extended its suspension of operations from 30APR until 30JUN.
Chairman Torstein Hagen said: “We are using this period of non-operation as a time for additional training and initiatives to ensure we have the safest and healthiest fleet in the industry.
“As a private company we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations – and that flexibility allows us the ability to do what is best for our guests and our employees.”
P&O Cruises and Cunard extended a pause in operations for all sailings by a month until May 15 on Monday.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.