This Morning: Jane McDonald says cruise industry ‘halted’
Cruise holidays have been firmly on hold for almost one year for most big-name cruise lines. As more travel restrictions sweep the globe, the spark of hope cruises will soon return is beginning to dim.
However, many cruise lines remain they could be back sailing the ocean as early as spring.
Here are the latest updates as of February for some big-name cruise lines.
Carnival Cruises axed further holidays as a result of ongoing travel restrictions around the world.
On January 22, 2021, the cruise line announced it would be suspending holidays until May 1, 2021.
Operations in Australia are also cancelled through May 19, 2021.
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said: “Our guests and travel agent partners continue to express their loyalty to Carnival and their desire to get back on our ships as soon as they can, and we are heartened by the booking demand and activity we continue to see.
“We are certainly committed to welcoming them back as quickly as possible, but unfortunately, we have determined it’s going to take a while longer, and the situation in Europe will also impact Mardi Gras’ departure to the US and Carnival Legend’s itineraries in Europe.”
Carnival Cruises has also cited needing “additional guidance” from the US-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention before it can proceed with planned cruises.
Carnival Corporation President and CEO Donald Arnold said: “We’ve started to bring ships back into the US and are meeting the criteria put out there to be in a position to then subsequently do test cruises. But to give you a specific timing on the test cruises, we would need additional guidance from the CDC.”
Cruise guests impacted by the cancellation are being offered a future cruise credit and onboard credit. They can also request a full refund.
Celebrity Cruises, which is part of the Royal Caribbean brand, has put its restart date back until April 30, 2021.
This includes a May 1 transatlantic cruise onboard Celebrity Apex, as well as Europe and transatlantic cruises on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Constellation which are suspended until October 2021.
In a statement, Celebrity said it’s “team of globally recognised scientific and medical experts, together with teams both on sea and on land, continue to focus on a healthy and safe return to service for our guests, crew and the communities we visit.”
The cruise line is currently in the process of contacting guests and travel partners to share further information.
Customers impacted by the cancellations will have the option of selecting a 125 percent future cruise credit, but this must be used by December 31, 2021.
Alternatively, they can opt for a full refund.
Internet, drinks and any shore excursion packages purchased in advance will be automatically refunded.
The Italian cruise line has plans to resume some sailings as early as March 13.
Costa Cruises made its latest update on January 22, 2021, stating holidays onboard the Costa Smeralda are set to resume with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises, as well as a 7-day cruise.
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Cunard has made the decision to cancel all sailings until spring 2021, though has not set out an exact date for holidays to restart.
Furthermore, sailings onboard Queen Elizabeth will not return until December 13, 2021.
The cruise line says this decision has been made “due to the ongoing travel constraints in place across the world”.
Simon Palethorpe, president of Cunard: “After very careful consideration, we simply do not feel it would be sensible to start sailing again with our current schedule.”
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line has set out a timeline for the return of its various ships.
Each ship will have a different restart date spanning from April 24 to May 12 2021.
The following restart dates are as follows:
- Disney Fantasy Cruises restart April 24, 2021
- Disney Dream Cruises restart April 30, 2021
- Disney Magic Cruises restart May 6, 2021
- Disney Wonder Cruises restart May 12, 2021
Customers booked on impacted sailings who have paid their reservation in full will be able to choose from a cruise credit to be used for a future sailing or a full refund.
Fred Olsen Cruise Line
Fred Olsen has set out some preliminary restart dates for its ships, starting at the end of spring.
The restart dates are as follows:
- Borealis cruises restart May 22, 2021
- Bolette cruises restart May 29, 2021
- Balmoral cruises restart June 9, 2021
- Braemar cruises restart Spring 2022
The cruise line has also outlined plans to launch new itineraries in celebration of its return to sailing.
Fred Olsen Jr, chairman of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We have really missed taking our guests on their holidays this year.
“Without our guests, there is no vibrancy, no life and no fun onboard our ships, and we can’t wait to be able to offer them the award-winning cruises for which we are renowned once again.”
For customers impacted by cancellations, the cruise line says it will “notify guests of the options available to them.”
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Holland America, the sister line of Princess Cruises, has announced further cancellations meaning all sailings are now suspended until April 30, 2021.
The pause includes Alaska departures until mid-May, Mediterranean sailings until early June and Canada sailings.
Cruises are planned to resume as of May 2021.
“Guests and their travel agents are being notified of the cancellations and options for Future Cruise Credits (FCC) and rebooking,” the cruise line said in a statement.
Marella, owned by TUI, has extended its pause on European sailings until March 2021.
For sailings heading further afield, the cruise line has said they will not depart before May 2021.
“Please rest assured, if you were booked to travel with us between now and the end of February, we’ll be contacting you soon to discuss our options. This will be done in departure date order,” reads a statement on the TUI website.
MSC has resumed some operations out of Italy as of January 24, however, are only accepting guests who are residents in Schengen countries.
Operations out of the US have been suspended through March 31, 2021.
Antonio Paradiso, MSC Cruises UK managing director, said: “MSC Cruises is ready to welcome British and Irish residents when the guidance changes. We are working closely with CLIA and the relevant authorities to enable British and Irish guests to be welcome back on board our ships when the time is right.”
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line announced on January 19, 2021, it would further axe sailings until May 2021.
Customers who have had their holidays cancelled will receive a future cruise credit worth 125 percent of the cost paid. This is valid until December 31, 2022.
Customers who no longer wish to sail will be able to request a refund of the fare paid.
Princess Cruises announced on January 6 it would be pausing operations until May 14, 2021.
This includes Caribbean sailings, as well as early season Alaska and Europe cruises.
Australia and New Zealand Cruises are due to restart as of June 2021.
Princess Cruises is offering two cancellation options. Guests who have paid in full will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid and, as an added incentive, an additional 25 percent towards their voucher.
“Guests must use their credits on a cruise that sails on or before May 1, 2022,” reads a statement on the Princess Cruises website.
“No action is required for guests to receive this offer and they will be notified by e-mail once the credits have been issued.”
Alternatively, guests can request a full refund of the amount paid.
P&O Cruises has suspended all sailings into spring 2021.
This means no ships will sail before April 2021 at the earliest.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “With hopeful news headlines clearly we do not want to extend our pause in operations any further than absolutely necessary, but given the ever-changing guidance around international travel and the varying regulations in many European ports of call we felt it prudent to cancel these additional dates.
“In addition, as the final payments are due for these cruises very soon we felt it was the right thing to do for our guests. We are so sorry to disappoint those who were due to travel.”
Guest impacted by the latest changes will be offered a voucher worth 125 percent of their original booking which can be used for any sailing up to the end of March 2022.
Royal Caribbean has suspended all holidays until May 2021.
Further to this, Quantum of the Seas Alaska sailings departing April 25 to October 14, 2021 have also been suspended.
However, there are plans to resume some sailings onboard the Spectrum of the Seas Cruise ship as of March 2021.
Guest who are impacted by cancellations will receive a 125 percent future cruise credit to be used by December 31, 2021.
They can also opt for a full refund.
Pre-purchased onboard packages will automatically be reimbursed.
Saga recently announced it would only be allowing guests who have been “fully vaccinated” to enjoy a cruise holiday.
In order to give holidaymakers “sufficient time to be fully vaccinated” the over-50s holiday specialist has suspended sailings until May 4.
The programme will begin with sailings onboard the Spring of Adventure on May 4.
The Secrets of Corsica and Sardinia cruise onboard Spirit of Discovery is due to sail on June 2.
All impacted guests will be contacted to “discuss their options”.
Virgin Voyages was forced to axe its inaugural sailings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, the Scarlet Lady Cruise is not due to kick start until May 2021.
The cruise line has rescheduled the launch of its second ship, Valiant Lady, until November 14.
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