More cruise lines have suspended trips in response to global efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Australian government has announced all international arrivals to Australian cruise ports will be suspended for 30 days.
On Friday Travel Weekly reported that Princess Cruises, Viking and Celestyal have temporarily suspended cruise operations until at least 1 May due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and increased government restrictions and advisories.
We can now confirm both Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines have suspended global operations for at least 30 days along with a swathe of other independent lines.
Here’s what you need to know about each line and how they are handling the situation.
The line has suspended sailings of its fleet globally as of midnight on 14 March and said in a statement it expects to return to service on 11 April.
Current sailings will be concluded as scheduled and guests will be assisted in their safe return home.
Australian cruises have been suspended as of 15 March for 30 days, with cruises that had already departed from Australian ports prior to the announcement expected to continue and return to Australia as planned.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival has announced that while it hasn’t yet recorded a single case of COVID-19, it will pause operations across its fleet of ships based in Australia as of 15 March and expects to resume sailings on 13 April.
Both ships at sea will continue their voyages and return to Sydney as scheduled.
The line is contacting guests and agents directly regarding their options.
P&O Cruises Australia has implemented a 30-day pause to its cruise operations following advice from the country’s public officials that mass gatherings should be limited to no more than 500 people and Australians should reconsider their need to travel anywhere in the world.
The pause took effect on Saturday and sailings are expected to resume on 12 April. The pause will affect cruises on Pacific Explorer, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria that were scheduled to depart Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.
The line will make direct contact with guests whose cruises have been affected to let them know of this development and to apologise for the disruption.
Decisions have also been made in relation to the P&O fleet’s current cruises.
- Pacific Explorer’s scheduled call to Eden tomorrow has been cancelled and the ship will return to Sydney for arrival as planned on Monday.
- Pacific Dawn’s cruise from Brisbane today will not proceed.
- Pacific Aria currently on a cruise to Tasmania will now return to Adelaide on Monday.
The Scenic Group, which includes Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises, Evergreen Cruises & Tours, will halt all river cruise operations until 30 April.
For guests whose river cruise departures are within this period of suspended operations, the Scenic Group 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.
The Scenic Group is also committed to protecting travel agent commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Travel Credits.
Full details of the cancellation policy are outlined HERE.
Holland America Line
The line will suspend global cruise operations of its 14 ships for 30 days and expects to resume 14 April.
Three cruises that were scheduled to depart over the weekend are now cancelled. Booked guests and their travel advisors are being notified. Guests on these three cruises cancelled this weekend will receive a 100 per cent refund and 100 per cent Future Cruise Credit.
The cancelled cruises are:
- Oosterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in San Diego, California.
- Nieuw Amsterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Koningsdam: originally scheduled to embark Sunday, March 15, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Other voyages that are currently in progress are planned to debark as follows:
- Eurodam: March 18 in San Diego, California, as scheduled.
- Veendam: March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
- Zuiderdam: March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
- Maasdam: March 20 in Hilo, Hawaii. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in San Diego, California, on April 3.
- Zaandam: March 21 in San Antonio, Chile as scheduled.
- Volendam: March 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
- Amsterdam: March 24 in Freemantle, Australia. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 12.
- Rotterdam: March 27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will need to disembark.
Ships not currently in service due to previous cancellations are: Nieuw Statendam, Noordam and Westerdam.
Holland America Line 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.
A-Rosa has suspended cruises on the Danube, Seine and Rhone due to advice from the French and Austrian ministry of health.
The line will be suspending cruise operations from 13 March until 24 April.
All affected passengers will be offered a full refund or a future cruise credit of 125 per cent of the value of their cruise. This credit can be used against the best deal of the day including the current 2021 Buy One Get One Free Offers and 2020 Late Saver deals.
Passengers that opt to transfer will also enjoy a special 20 per cent discount against CMV’s Onboard Additions packages, plus a 10 per cent shore excursion discount, plus a one cabin category upgrade (subject to availability).
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings, which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, has suspended sailings embarking between 13 March and 11 April 2020 for its three brands.
Guests on voyages that are underway will conclude and guests will be disembarked as soon as possible and assisted with travel arrangements.
Guests who are currently booked on voyages with embarkation dates from 13 March to 11 April, 2020 on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises are asked to contact their travel agent or the cruise line for more information. 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.
Travel partner commissions on cancelled cruises will be protected as per normal policy.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has issued a statement advising its members are responding to evolving circumstances “swiftly and in consultation with governments and health authorities” as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“CLIA has been working closely with the government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and has been consulting with state and national health departments over the extensive measures enacted by the cruise industry globally,” the association said.
“Cruise lines are now focused on a safe and smooth return for affected ships at sea, and on arrangements for the disembarkation of passengers.
“While we acknowledge these suspensions will cause inconvenience and disappointment to many, cruise lines are working around the clock to maintain a focus on the health and safety of passengers and crew.
“This is an unprecedented situation and we are conscious not only of the impact upon on guests, but also on the destinations that cruise lines visit and the many businesses that depend upon cruise tourism.
“Despite challenging times, we are confident our industry has the resilience to overcome this situation in the longer term.”