This Morning: Jane McDonald says cruise industry 'halted'
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Cruise holidays remain on hold for most companies amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As lockdowns and travel restrictions continue around the world, Norwegian Cruise Line has made the decision to further extend its pause on cruise holidays.
The suspension will impact all global voyages across its brands, including Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
The cruise line now plans to return to service from May 31, 2021.
Norwegian Cruise Line says it “will continue to work in tandem with global government and public health authorities” as well as its “Healthy Sail Panel expert advisors” to ensure all guests, crew and communities visited are adequately protected.
“Guests who are currently booked on cancelled voyages on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises are asked to contact their travel advisor or the cruise line for more information,” said a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson.
What are the latest updates for other global cruise lines?
Carnival Cruises has set out a preliminary restart date of May 1, 2021.
However, there are several exceptions to this plan.
The Mardi Gras ship will now be debuting on May 29, 2021, from Port Canaveral.
Carnival Legend’s European itineraries have all been cancelled, and the Carnival Miracle’s planned seasonal service from San Diego has been suspended until further notice.
Carnival Liberty sailings have been cancelled between September 17 to October 18, 2021, meanwhile Carnival Sunshine sailings from Charleston between October 11 and November 13, 2021, are also cancelled.
Australia voyages on the Carnival Splendor are cancelled until June 28, 2021, while Carnival Spirit sailings are paused until September 12, 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.”
Impacted guests can opt for a future cruise credit and onboard credit, or a full refund.
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Celebrity Cruises has set out a preliminary restart date of May 1, 2021.
Sailings in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America are cancelled fr the entire 2020-2021 season.
Transatlantic cruises onboard the Apex are cancelled until October 2021, meanwhile Europe and transatlantic cruises on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Constellation are also suspended.
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.
Any pre-purchased packages, such as drinks and food packages, will automatically be refunded.
Costa Cruises is planning to resume some cruises within the next month.
However, they will be limited to cruises in Italy and will only accept certain guests.
By March 13, 2021, Costa plans to resume its Italian cruises.
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.
Cunard has cancelled all sailings until spring 2021.
According to a statement on the company website: “As a result of the continuing impact of COVID-19, Cunard has further extended its pause in operations to departures up to and including 28 May 2021 for Queen Mary 2 and up to and including 4 June 2021 for Queen Elizabeth.
“Queen Victoria’s programme remains unaffected and she is scheduled to resume sailings on 17 May 2021.”
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 been forced to further push back sailings amid ongoing travel restrictions.
The first cruise is planned to return to sailing from May 1, 2021.
Each ship will have a different restart date spanning from April 24 to May 12 2021.
The 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 cruises, with hopes of returning to sailing in the late spring.
The Balmoral, Bolette and Borealis ships are due to return to sailing as of July 1, 2021.
Sailing onboard the Braemar are due to resume as of Spring 2022, though the date is not yet confirmed.
River cruises onboard the Brabant ship are cancelled for the duration of the 2021 season.
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.”
Customers impacted by cancellations will be notified by the cruise line “of the options available to them.”
Holland America has set out an initial restart date of May 1, 2021.
However, there are some exceptions for certain ships and destinations.
- Sailings onboard Eurodam and Oosterdam to Alaska are due to restart the second week of June 2021
- Sailings on the Koningsdam, Noordam and Nieuw Amsterdam to Alaska are due to begin mid-May, 2021.
- Sailings onboard Volendam and Westerdam to the Mediterranean are due to begin from early June, 2021.
- Sailings onboard the Zuiderdam to Alaska are due to begin in early June 2021.
- Sailings onboard the Zaandam to Canada and New England are due to begin from September, 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 further extended its pause on sailings until April 30.
The company said the decision was made due to “ongoing uncertainty around travel restrictions.”
Impacted customers will be offered the option to rebook with a free incentive, or to receive a full refund.
A statement on the TUI website reads: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty around travel restrictions, Marella Cruises has extended its pause in operations up to and including 30th April 2021.
“We’re proactively contacting impacted customers to discuss their options which will include amending to another holiday for free with an incentive or cancelling and receiving a full refund.”
MSC Cruises resumed some operations out of Italy as of January 24, however, Britons are not permitted to sail.
At the time of writing, the cruise line is only accepting residents from Schengen countries.
Operations out of US ports are suspended through May 1, 2021.
Operations out of Japan are planned to resume in April, meanwhile, Greece cruises are postponed until April 29, 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.”
Princess Cruises has cancelled all sailings until May 14, 2021.
A statement on the company website reads: “It is with a heavy heart that Princess Cruises has made the extremely difficult decision to temporarily pause our global ship operations. We know you were looking forward to sailing with us, and we apologise and share in your disappointment over these cancellations.”
Customers will automatically be issued with a cruise credit worth the amount 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.
Ships are not planned to sail until 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.”
Customers who have had their holiday cancelled 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 set out preliminary plans to begin sailing from May 1, 2021, with the exception of sailings onboard Quantum or the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas in Singapore and China.
Customers will be offered a future cruise credit worth 125 percent of the amount paid to be used on a sailing by September 30, 2021.
This will be automatically issued.
Customers can also contact the cruise line to claim a full refund worth the amount paid.
Saga Cruises has unveiled plans to welcome back guests from May 4 onboard the Spirt of Adventure ship and June 2 on the Spirit of Discovery ship.
However, only vaccinated travellers will be eligible to travel with the cruise company.
According to the over-50s holiday specialist, the suspended return to sailing is in place to give holidaymakers “sufficient time to be fully vaccinated”.
Customers impacted by cancellations 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 begin sailing until May 2021.
The cruise line has rescheduled the launch of its second ship, Valiant Lady, until November 14.
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