More Operators, Cruise Lines Implement Flexible Policies
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
More tour operators and cruise lines are introducing a flexible approach for booking changes in light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Sunwingsays it will waive administration fees associated with the first change for new bookings made between 4-19MAR, 2020. Here are some details:
This applies to all new bookings with a departure date up to and including 24JUN, 2020.
Any change must be requested at least 14 days prior to travel or normal conditions will apply.
Regular conditions will apply should the change made result in a lower or higher price.
Cancellation fees still apply.
These flexible booking arrangements apply to all Sunwing bookings including flight and hotel only reservations together with both cruise and vacation packages.
Royal Irish Tours (RIT)is offering a flexible booking policy for MAR. For all new bookings made from 5 – 31MAR, 2020, RIT will allow guests to postpone their trip for any reason up to 14 days before departure. This is for new bookings only. Guests can travel on any later departure date in 2020.
Collettereminds guests and travel advisors that itsoptional Travel Protection Plan offers a full cash refund for any guest who has to cancel up to 24 hours before departure. The tour operator says it is guaranteeing more than 35% of its travel dates through 2022.
Avalon Waterways, meanwhile, has announced that guests and travel advisors can now reschedule or cancel their river cruise up to three days prior to their scheduled departure date. Previously Avalon, and the entire Globus family of brands, had announced a travel policy that allowed for changes up to 30 days prior to departure.
Silversea Cruisestravellers who make new bookings on sailings departing between 1JUN and 31DEC, 2020 will be able to cancel until 30 days prior to departure, only paying a customary administrative fee on the cruise fare.
Additionally, Silversea says it will negotiate on guests’ behalf for the same cancellation options on other components of the booking such as air travel, hotels and shore excursions. However, Silversea does not have control over these third-party suppliers, and, therefore, different terms may apply for these specific components.
For Carnival guests who booked their sailing before 6MAR and now want to change their plans, the cruise line will allow them to move their sailing to a new date and receive a Future Cruise Credit in the amount of the non-refundable cancellation fee. This is valid for sailings between now and 31MAY and changes must be made by 31MAR.
In both cases, Future Cruise Credits must be used for sailings by 31MAR, 2021.
Guests booked on sailings departing between 9MAR and 31MAR can move their booking up to 3 days before sailing.
For guests who choose to keep their booking as currently scheduled for departures between 6MAR and 31MAY will receive:
$100 onboard credit per cabin for 3 and 4-day cruises
$150 onboard credit per cabin for 5-day cruises
$200 onboard credit per cabin for any sailing 6 days and longer
The onboard credit will be applied automatically.
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.