More cruise line suspensions as government bans international port arrivals

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.

Royal Caribbean

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.

Scenic Group

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 StatendamNoordam 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.

Find out more HERE  or agents can contact


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.

CLIA advice

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.”


Leave a Reply


“Dust off the good china”: Chris Hemsworth agrees to visit Cowra for a “chinwag” following video campaign

The rural NSW town’s delightful ‘Get Chris to Cowra’ campaign appears to have paid off, with the Hollywood hunk planning a visit in 2022.




The ACCC wants Trivago to be fined at least $90m for deceiving consumers

Australia’s consumer watchdog reckons Trivago’s crimes could, in theory, equate to hundreds of billions of dollars in fines, which makes $90 million look like a good deal to us.




Intrepid Travel unveils first rebrand in more than 15 years

It’s out with the old and in with the new over at Intrepid. However, it’s understood that the plush leather sofa in reception will stay.




Aussie aviation industry streamlines approach to guiding travellers through new restrictions

The differing reopening roadmaps of the states and territories will no doubt cause headaches for travellers, hence this from A4ANZ.




Switzerland is calling

Aussies craving for their Swiss fix can now not only look forward to being welcomed back with wide-open arms, but also a host of brand new and thoroughly enriching experiences.



Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Hilton’s Paul Hutton

We covered a lot in our chat with Hilton’s boss for Australasia – even his music tastes. Just don’t play house or rap tunes around him, though.




Brisbane Airport flags elements of “great concern” in Queensland’s reopening roadmap

Premier Palaszczuk’s reopening roadmap for Queensland hasn’t gone down too well with the state’s main airport.



Travel Agents

Barry Mayo talks border reopenings and the silver lining of confusing travel restrictions

The industry veteran reckons ever-changing global travel restrictions may have a silver lining for agents.




Eerie ancient ruins meet brimming coral gardens: Your guide to selling Bohol

by Sponsored by Philippines Department of Tourism

There’s more to Bohol than bug-eyed tarsiers and the dramatic scenery of the Chocolate Hills. Take a closer look at one of the most visited destinations in the Philippines’ and craft a genuinely unique experience for your clients.




Insta-famous cruise captain Kate McCue to take the helm of Celebrity Beyond

The fabulous, trailblazing and Insta-famous Kate McCue has been chosen to steer Celebrity’s newest ship once it takes to the water in April next year.




Six airport workers charged over plans to import “large quantity” of drugs into Sydney

The Sydney Airport workers might have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for COVID-19 disrupting flight schedules.




Wyndham unveils new all-inclusive resort brand

The hotel franchising giant has pulled back the curtains on brand number 22, debuting with a couple of bangin’ beachfront properties.