Cruise Wrap: RCL extends suspension, Vasco da Gama to arrive in Fremantle + MORE

Travel Weekly staff have had Enya’s “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” stuck in our heads all morning because of this damn Cruise Wrap. The price we pay for keeping you up to date with all the latest cruise news.

Royal Caribbean extends global suspension

Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. extended the suspension of sailings of its global fleet.

The line said it is working with guests to address this disruption to their vacations, and it is genuinely sorry for their inconvenience. We are also working with our crew to sort out the issues this decision presents for them.

RCL expects to return to service on May 12, 2020. However, because of announced port closures, it expects to return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings July 1, 2020.

Carnival Cruise Line extends voluntary suspension for Australian sailings until 15 May

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Carnival Cruise Line extended its voluntary suspension of all Australian sailings, with a plan to resume operations on 15 May 2020. The decision has been made after discussions with the Australian government and in support of management and containment efforts for the region.

Carnival Cruise Line is making contact with guests and travel agents who are impacted by the extended suspension period and is offering flexible options for all those affected.

P&O Cruises extends its temporary pause in operations in Australia and New Zealand

P&O Cruises is also extending its voluntary pause in operations across Australia and New Zealand as the cruise line plays its part in supporting the global effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The details around the temporary pause are different for guests in Australia and New Zealand to reflect the different approaches from each government in managing the resumption of international cruising.

The changes in operations are:


In Australia, P&O Cruises will resume its operations on 15 May 2020 – an extra 30 days to what had previously been announced.

This approach is in line with the Australian Government’s decision to review the restrictions on vessels from mid-April on a rolling basis each month.

It will affect the following cruises:

Pacific Dawn: W021, W022, W023, W024, and W025
Pacific Explorer: X016, X017, X018, X019, and X020

New Zealand

In New Zealand, P&O Cruises will suspend voyages until 30 June 2020, which is consistent with the government’s approach.

It will affect the following cruises:

Pacific Aria: A025, A026, A027, A028, A029, A030, A031, A032, A033, A034, and A035

Other cruises

Two main event cruises – State of Origin and Taste of Tasmania (formerly Dark Mofo) – will also be cancelled.

While both cruises fall outside of the period for the temporary pause on operations, the decisions are consistent with our desire to provide certainty for guests where we can at this point.

Compensation for cancelled cruises from 12 April 2020

P&O will make direct contact with guests whose cruises have been affected to let them know of this development and to apologise for the disruption.

For guests who have paid in full for future voyages cancelled during this extended pause period, P&O is offering two options. A full refund, or a future cruise credit equal to 200 per cent of the cost of their original cruise.

P&O will protect travel agent commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits.

Norwegian Jewel arrives in Hawaii 

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel arrived in Honolulu on Sunday, 22 March 2020 with guests beginning to disembark on 23 March 2020, when they will board chartered flights home.

Despite there not being any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 associated with the ship, all guests will undergo enhanced medical screening prior to disembarkation. 

Approximately 1,000 crew members will remain aboard.

Norwegian Jewel was the last vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet with guests aboard at sea. All ships will soon be berthed in ports around the world until the temporary sailing suspension is lifted.

Vasco da Gama to arrive in Fremantle

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ (CMV) vessel Vasco da Gama is scheduled to arrive in Fremantle at 8am local time on Friday 27 March 2020 carrying 798 Australians and 109 New Zealanders.

CMV has recorded no health concerns among the passengers or crew, who have not left Vasco da Gama/Columbus since 14 March 2020. When the passengers arrive in Fremantle on 27 March, it will be their 13th day at sea. CMV’s 552 crew members will remain on board. 

Australian Border Force has confirmed that passengers should not make onwards travel plans any earlier than 2pm local time to allow for additional, mandatory screening procedures. To assist passengers with this process and to provide passengers with some flexibility for their onwards journey, Vasco da Gama will remain in Fremantle overnight on Friday 27 March and passengers may remain onboard if required. CMV has asked passengers arranging flights to their final destination to depart the ship by evening of Saturday 28 March 2020.

Any friends, family or travel agents wishing to contact passengers on board should email so that CMV can ensure quick delivery of information to those travelling on Vasco da Gama. 

Genting Cruise Lines invites guests to ‘Cruise As You Wish’ with Dream Cruises and Star Cruises

Genting Cruise Lines announces its ‘Cruise As You Wish’ assurance via its flexible and convenient booking options for Dream Cruises and Star Cruises to assist guests in their decisions to cruise and most importantly to provide peace of mind in view of the unfolding COVID-19 situation.

With the ‘Cruise As You Wish’ assurance and booking option, all new and existing bookings made for any Dream Cruises or Star Cruises sailings prior to or on 31 July 2020 will have the flexibility to cancel up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive 100 per cent future cruise credit to be redeemed of any Dream Cruises or Star Cruises sailing embarking on or before 31st December 2020.

Cook Cruise’s marine biologist named First Bulanaire for 2020

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji is excited to announce their Marine Biologist, Amos Abhishek Daniel is Tourism Fiji’s first Bulanaire for 2020. 

Following the success of last year’s Bulanaires campaign, Tourism Fiji has launched phase two of the program by honouring Fijis true hospitality heroes. Local Bulanaires have been nominated to share the ‘Bula Spirit’ with visitors to the destination and to reinforce why Fiji is the place where happiness finds you.

The eldest of three siblings, Amos hails from the soccer-crazed town of Ba in the Western Division. Since completing his studies Amos has been a dedicated crew member with Captain Cook Cruises Fiji and works aboard small cruise ship Reef Endeavour and at Tivua Island.

In his role as Marine Biologist Amos not only guides and lectures passengers about the ocean and sustainability but also participates with the crew in cultural dance and activities.

Quark policy update for upcoming season

Quark is seeking to help agents inspire confidence with clients through its new Book with Confidence & Rebook Anytime Policy, applicable to its Arctic 2020 season (excludes North Pole):

  1. Cancel any time for any reason right up to 24 hours prior to your voyage start date
  2. Risk-free – rebook with 100 per cent Future Travel Refund Credit (FTRC) for deposits or other partial payments at time of cancelation received by Quark Expeditions
  3. Risk-free – rebook with 120 per cent Future Travel Refund Credit (FTRC) for voyages where full payment at time of cancellation has been received by Quark Expeditions
  4. Rebook for free – No rebooking fees
  5. The Future Travel Refund Credit is Transferable*
  6. New and existing Antarctica 2020 bookings receive Extended Payment Terms for voyages up to 60 days prior to voyage.

Visit Quark’s Partner Resource Center for full details about existing bookings, new bookings, partner commissions, Future Travel Refund Credit, and details on flexible payment terms offer for Antarctic 2020.21 bookings.

Ecruising announces African West Coast to Cape Town cruise package

This November treat yourself to an early Christmas present and book your spot on ecruising’s s 36-night African West Coast to Cape Town cruise package, full of one-of-a-kind experiences guaranteed to deliver lifelong memories.

This sensational itinerary from Australia’s leading cruise travel expert offers an unparalleled opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Henry the Navigator from Portugal to South Africa onboard the incomparable Azamara Journey, topped and tailed by stays in luxury accommodation in Lisbon and Cape Town.

ecruising’s 36-night African West Coast to Cape Town cruise package includes return economy flights to Australia, all accommodation, not to mention Azamara’s sensational all-inclusive amenities package encompassing everything from select standard spirits, international beers and wines, bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas to self-service laundry to shuttle services at each port and concierge services.


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