Coronavirus: How to Rebook Your Cruise After Lines Suspend Sailings
Booked on a cruise and not sure what the next steps are? Here is all of the latest advice from the cruise industry
Following on from UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s coronavirus news conference on 12 March, in which he issued a warning to the over-70s to avoid cruise holidays amid the coronavirus pandemic, many cruise lines have reacted to the political advice and have subsequently suspended their sailings.
In light of these suspensions, cruise lines are offering guests already booked on a cruise the chance to rebook later in 2020 and 2021. We have therefore put together the complete list of cruise lines that have issued suspensions and advice they have given to help you rebook your cruise at a later date.
P&O Cruises has become one of the latest cruise lines to suspend its sailings amid the outbreak. In a statement, president Paul Ludlow said: “Having reviewed all of our ship operations and industry recommendations, we will bring our ships back to Southampton and suspend any new cruises until 11 April 2020.
“This pause in operations has been done in an abundance of caution to support the global effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.”
Guests who have impacted will receive a 125 per cent Future Cruise Credit, the British line confirmed. This will be applied automatically to their guest account for use on a P&O Cruises holiday departing before the end of March 2022.
Ludlow continued: “These truly are unprecedented times; the likes of which we certainly have never seen before. We are so sorry that the holidays of many of our guests will be disrupted but our priority is to safeguard the wellbeing of our guests and crew and by taking these extraordinary measures we will be able to do so.
“Given the immediate situation, we are also looking at Iona’s itineraries in light of current restrictions in Norway and will provide an update to guests when we have more clarity.”
Cunard has followed in sister cruise line P&O Cruises; wake and suspended operations until 11 April 2020.
Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: Having reviewed all of our ship operations and industry recommendations, we have decided no new guests or crew will be joining our ships as we suspend operations until April 11, 2020. This pause in operations has been done in an abundance of caution to support the global effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises has suspended all US sailings, as well as the voyages of its fleet globally, until 10 April. All current sailings will be concluded as planned and the line will be assisting passengers with their return home.
In a statement, it said: “We are reaching out to our guests to help them work through the disruption to their vacations, and we are truly sorry for the inconvenience.”
The decision to suspend sailings has resulted in the inaugural sailings of Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Cruises’ new ship, being cancelled.
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL joined Royal Caribbean as one of the latest US cruise lines to suspend sailings amid the outbreak.
Guests who are currently booked on voyages with embarkation dates from 13 March to 11 April 2020 on NCL, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas have been asked to contact their travel agent or cruise line.
All guests on impacted voyages will receive a 125 per cent refund of the fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit, which can be applied toward any future cruise through 31 December 2022.
Guests who do not wish to have the credit can instead choose to have a 100 per cent fare refund, which they will receive within 90 days of making the request.
Guests on voyages currently underway will conclude and passengers will be disembarked and assisted with travel arrangements, the line also confirmed.
Marella Cruises has cancelled all sailings for the next two weeks. In a statement, it said:
“The cruise line understands that this may be disappointing for customers but felt that given the constantly changing situation cruises operating during the next two weeks would fall short of the experience it wants to give its customers.
“Marella Cruises would like to thank its customers for their understanding during this unprecedented time.”
All guests impacted by the cancellation of sailings between 14 and 28 March 2020 will be notified and issued a full refund.
Princess Cruises has been hit with two outbreaks of coronavirus onboard its ships this year, the first being Grand Princess and the second Diamond Princess. As such, the cruise line has announced that it is temporarily pausing all ship operations for 60 days. The company has paused global operations of its 18 ships for voyages departing from 12 March to 10 May.
Those currently onboard a cruise that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through to the end of the itinerary, meaning that onward travel arrangements are not disrupted. Current sailings that are underway and extend beyond 17 March will finish at the most convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements.
For those who are impacted, the line is offering guests the opportunity to transfer 100 per cent of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice. Princess is also adding an additional future cruise credit benefit that can be applied to the cruise fare or onboard expenses.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
Fred Olsen has paused its ocean cruise operations until 23 May 2020. For the time being, the line’s river ship Brabant is not affected by the pause in operations and will commence its season as planned on 6 April.
In a statement, the line said: “Our priority is to get all existing guests and crew home as safely and comfortably as possible. Any subsequent itineraries will not go ahead once the current cruises have come to an end.”
Celestyal Cruises has temporarily suspended cruise operations until 1 May 2020.
It plans to recommence on 1 May with a three-night Iconic Aegean cruise on Celestyal Olympia. All named and fully-paid guests will be offered the choice of either a future cruise credit valued at 120 per cent of original booking value or a refund of the original amount paid.
Guests will have until the end of December 2021 to use their future cruise credit against any of the line’s itineraries. For anyone who has not used their future cruise credit within the specified period will automatically receive a refund equal to the original amount paid.
The sailings that have been affected include the seven-night ‘Three Continents’ cruise on the 4, 21 and 28 March 2020; the seven-night ‘Eclectic Aegean’ cruise on the 4, 11, 18 and 25 April 2020; and the three- and four-night ‘Iconic Aegean’ sailing, from 16 March until 30 April 2020.
Avalon Waterways is suspending travel through to 30 April.
The line has introduced a new ‘Peace of Mind Plan’ for travellers whose trips are impacted. This allows them to move travel dates without incurring cancellation fees, land or airline penalties. It also is offering a bonus credit of $200 per person for a new reservation, redeemable for any future 2020, 2021 or 2022 vacation.
Travellers who cancel will get a refund but must advise the company by 31 March.
The wider Globus family – including Cosmos Tours – has also announced that it is voluntarily suspending travel, across all destinations, through to the end of April.
Virgin Voyages launched its first cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, this year, but in light of the coronavirus outbreak, has had to postpone the ship’s inaugural season until 15 July 2020, with the maiden voyage now taking place on 7 August 2020. To give guests a reason to rebook, the cruise line is offering them 200 per cent in future voyage credit, which can be applied to another sailing, rather than a refund. This is double the value of an existing booking.
Guests can also receive up to $500 in on-board credit, if they re-book before 30 June 2020. However, if you are booked on a Virgin cruise and would prefer a 100 per cent refund on a voyage for an impacted sailing, the line will issue one plus offer a 25 per cent future voyage credit on the value paid to use for a future booking.
Disney Cruise Lines
Disney Cruise Line’s four-ship fleet will suspend new departures starting Saturday through the end of March. No information has been given yet on refunds.
British cruise line Saga has said it would temporarily suspend its cruises for six weeks until 1 May 2020. It will be offering customers a full refund or credit for future sailings. In a statement this morning, the group explained: “The health and safety of customers and colleagues is our number one priority.”
Viking has suspended all river and ocean sailings in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure affects all sailings until 30 April. The line will then resume operations from 1 May.
For those guests whose cruise falls within the window of suspended operations, Viking is offering the choice of a future cruise voucher, valued at 125 per cent of all money paid, or a refund equal to the amount paid. Guests will have 24 months to use their future cruise voucher to make a new booking on any river, ocean or expedition itinerary.
Windstar Cruises has announced it will temporarily suspend operations worldwide for cruises embarking 14 March through 30 April 2020. Travellers on cancelled cruises can choose a future cruise credit valued at 125 per cent of all monies paid to Windstar or a refund equal to the amount paid on the Windstar booking. They will have 24 months to book and embark on any available cruise using the credit. Travel agent commissions are also protected.
Costa has put on hold the global operations of ships until 3 April.
Costa sailings currently underway will end only to allow guests to disembark and return to their homes. Customers who were looking forward to boarding one of Costa ships will receive a voucher for a full refund.
Scenic has announced it will temporarily suspend all river cruise operations until 30 April 2020.
For guests whose river cruise departures are within this period of suspended operations, the cruise line is offering the choice of either a Future Travel Credit valued at 125 per cent of the booking or the option of a refund to the value of the amount paid. Guests choosing a Future Travel Credit will have up to 24 months to travel on a Scenic Group river cruise.
Paul Gauguin has suspended all calls in French Polynesia until 11 April 2020.
Uniworld has announced the suspension of all European itineraries until 23 April. It is offering guests the opportunity to rebook travel dates to any 2020 or 2021 cruise or receive a future cruise credit eligible to be used during the next 24 months. Full details can be found on the Uniworld website.
Tui River Cruises
Tui has had to postpone the launch of Tui River Cruises and its three brand new passenger ships, cancelling all sailings until and including 2 May 2020.
The first sailings were due to depart on 29 March with itineraries on a number of European waterways. Customers booked on to departures up to and including 2 May 2020 will get a full refund or can rebook onto any other available sailing until 31 October.
If customers choose to amend to a later sailing and the new cruise is more expensive, the difference in cost will be covered and if it costs less than the original booking, they will be refunded the difference.
After deciding to halt all operations in the Med, the Gulf and Asia, MSC Cruises has gone one step further and paused new itineraries on its US-based ships until 30 April 2020.
For the latest advice on coronavirus, visit gov.uk.
Holland America Line
Holland America Line has halted global cruise operations of its 14 ships for 30 days, impacting sailings scheduled to depart through 14 April 2020.
Three cruises that were scheduled to depart this weekend are now cancelled, including:
- Oosterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday 14 March in San Diego, California.
- Nieuw Amsterdam: originally scheduled to embark 14 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Koningsdam: originally scheduled to embark 15 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Guests on these three cruises cancelled this weekend will receive a 100 per cent refund and 100 per cent Future Cruise Credit. Booked guests and their travel agents are in the process of being notified.
Other voyages that are currently in progress are planned to debark as follows:
- Eurodam: 18 March in San Diego, California, as scheduled.
- Veendam: 18 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
- Zuiderdam: 18 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
- Maasdam: 20 March in Hilo, Hawaii. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in San Diego, California, on 3 April.
- Zaandam: 21 March in San Antonio, Chile as scheduled.
- Volendam: 22 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
- Amsterdam: 24 March in Freemantle, Australia. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 12 May.
- Rotterdam: 27 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will need to disembark.
Holland America Line will rebook all guests who purchased their air through the Flight Ease programme and will endeavor to help others who booked their own air if they’re encountering issues.
Guests currently booked on cruises beyond this weekend that will now not be operating will receive a communication from Holland America Line in the coming days regarding their options.
Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV)
CMV has announced the suspension of all embarkations taking place until 24 April 2020.
All CMV ships will be returning to their disembarkation home ports in the UK & Germany with the repatriation of international passengers as required.
All affected passengers will be offered a full refund or a future cruise credit of 125 per cent of the value of their cruise.
Passengers who use the future cruise credit will also be offered a 20 per cent discount of onboard additions beverage packages plus a 10 per cent shore excursion discount and one cabin category upgrade subject to availability. The future cruise must be booked by 31 July 2020.
Hurtigruten has voluntarily stopped operations from pole to pole until the end of April. The expedition cruise line has paused cruise operations through 28 April and their Norwegian coastal cruises through 19 April.
Guests who have their voyages cancelled because of the temporary suspension of operations are being offered a Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 125 per cent of amounts paid (including fees). They will also get a 10 per cent discount on any future Hurtigruten cruise – Expedition or Norwegian Coastal – from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021, with a flexible rebooking date.
Even though they are not affected by the temporary suspension of operations, guests booked on voyages through 30 September 2020 are offered rebooking, without any rebooking fee, to any future Hurtigruten cruise for departures between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2021.
This article will be updated.
The cruise industry is facing an unprecedented and ever-changing situation and we are committed to keeping you informed with the most up-to-date news as we receive it from the sector. However, we firmly believe that the cruise industry will bounce back. When it does, we’ll be on hand to inspire with destination inspiration and exciting cruise itineraries for the years to come.
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