TORONTO — Three of Carnival Corp.’s cruise lines – Princess, Seabourn and Holland America – along with Hurtigruten and AmaWaterways have announced extensions to their suspensions of operations.
Princess Cruises has announced it is extending its temporary suspension of global ship operations, cancelling select cruises through the end of the 2020 summer season.
The cruise line says the decision to cancel was “extremely difficult”. The U.S. has made steps to start reopening its economy and the travel industry, however air travel is still a fraction of what it was pre-COVID-19 and travel restrictions are still in place in most countries around the world. Plus, a few weeks ago the CDC extended its no-sail order for U.S.-based cruise lines, and that extension could see the no-sail order still in place into July.
The new wave of cancellations for Princess including the following cruises and cruisetours:
– All remaining Alaska cruises on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess
– All remaining Europe and Transatlantic cruises on Enchanted Princess, Regal Princess, Sky Princess, Crown Princess and Island Princess
– Summer Caribbean cruises and all Canada & New England cruises on Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess
– Summer to Fall cruises departing from Japan on Diamond Princess
– Australia-based cruises on Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess through August
– July cruises sailing from Taiwan on Majestic Princess
– Fall cruises sailing to Hawaii and French Polynesia on Pacific Princess through November
“As the world is still preparing to resume travel, it is with much disappointment that we announce an extension of our pause of global ship operations and the cancellation of cruise vacations for our loyal guests,” said Jan Swartz, President of Princess Cruises. “Among other disruptions, airlines have limited their flight availability and many popular cruise ports are closed. It saddens us to think about the impact on the livelihood of our teammates, business partners and the communities we visit.”
Princess passengers currently booked on these cancelled voyages, who have paid Princess in full, will have the option to receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.
For passengers who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.
Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through Princess Cruises’ online form. Requests must be received by June 15, 2020, or they will receive the refundable FCC option.
Princess says it will continue to protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, “in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success”.
The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Information on Impacted & Cancelled Cruises.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Meanwhile Holland America Line has cancelled all Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England cruises for 2020.
In addition, Amsterdam will not operate the 79-day Grand Africa Voyage from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that was scheduled to depart on Oct. 3, 2020.
Holland America Line had previously cancelled all 2020 Land+Sea Journeys, which combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon.
“As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented and challenging times, the best decision right now is to extend our pause in cruise operations into the fall,” said Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line.
“While this is very disappointing and we never want to let our guests down, as soon as it makes sense we will be back cruising again, giving our guests the memorable travel experiences they continue to dream about.”
Holland America passengers with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled, and all guests will receive a FCC per person as follows:
Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.
Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive a FCC of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.
The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.
Passengers who opt for a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than June 15, 2020. This includes Holland America Line’s Flight Ease air, Cancellation Protection Plan, Holland America Line pre- or post-cruise hotel packages or transfers, prepaid shore excursions and amenities purchased through Holland America Line, and taxes, fees and port expenses.
The above options are not applicable to passengers booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions at Holland America’s Cancellation Preferences form for all details.
Like sister line Princess Cruises, Holland America is also continuing to 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 their clients rebook, “recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry.”
Seabourn’s suspension of operations will apply to each of Seabourn’s five ships differently with each having a different “effective through” date in either October or November, says the line.
Seabourn Odyssey: Halted through the Europe season, with its operations pause effective through Nov. 20.
Seabourn Sojourn: Halted through Alaska/B.C. season, with its operations pause effective through Oct.13.
Seabourn Quest: Halted through the Canada/New England season, with its operations pause effective through Nov. 6.
Seabourn Encore: Halted through the Europe season, with its operations pause effective through Oct.19.
Seabourn Ovation: Halted through Europe season, with its operations pause effective through Nov. 6.
Seabourn had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 – June 30, 2020, effectively cancelling all voyages scheduled to operate during that timeframe.
The cruise line says the decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.
“We know travellers, as well as our past guests, are thinking about and looking forward to traveling based on a lot of information we are seeing lately. With many cruise ports still closed, destinations opening in phases, and airline capacity limited, a continuation of our pause gives us additional time to prepare for our eventual return to service,” said Rick Meadows, President of Seabourn.
“When we resume and social gathering is acceptable once again, we will do so with the health and safety of our guests, crew and the people in each of the destinations we visit as a priority, just as it has been throughout our history.”
Seabourn says it will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension window with all booked guests and their travel advisors.
Passengers with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled, and all guests will receive an FCC as follows:
Paid in Full: Passengers paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn.
Under Deposit: Passengers with bookings under deposit will receive a FCC valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid, plus an onboard credit of $300 per suite.
The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking to be used in any manner selected by the passenger. Alternatively, passengers may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.
Passengers and their agents will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. For more details click here.
Hurtigruten has extended its temporary suspension of worldwide sailings from May 12 to mid-June, with plans to gradually restart operations from June 16.
The cruise line is also planning to gradually restart Arctic expedition cruises this summer “in areas where restrictions are lifted, where and when we believe it is safe,” says CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty in what the next weeks and months will bring. However, we do see international restrictions gradually being lifted,” adds Skjeldam. “Step by step, the pandemic is being brought under control. Businesses are reopening and everyday life is slowly getting back to a degree of normality.”
Skjeldam is reassuring guests that their safety is being kept top of mind. Even before the global outbreak, Hurtigruten imposed strict protocols to combat the spread of the virus, and has not had any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 on any of its ships.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our crew and guests. We are working closely with all relevant authorities, experts and agencies to ensure a safe and sensible restart of our expedition cruises,” he adds.
The following cruises have been impacted by this latest extension:
Norwegian Coastal Voyages
– Operations on the scheduled Bergen – Kirkenes – Bergen voyages will be suspended until June 15, 2020
– A gradual restart of operations on the Norwegian coast is being planned, with the first departure being the MS Finnmarken from Bergen on June 16
– Following June 16, Hurtigruten will make decisions for each and every voyage individually, with guests being updated on any changes no later than 21 days before their scheduled departure
– In agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport, Hurtigruten has deployed two ships in an amended domestic schedule for the transport of critical supplies and goods to local communities, which will continue through June 15
– All expedition cruises are temporarily suspended, including voyages with battery hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen to Norway and MS Roald Amundsen to Alaska and the Northwest Passage, as well as some cruises to Svalbard and Iceland
– Hurtigruten will make decisions on each individual voyage, and will update all booked guests of any changes no later than 21 days before their scheduled departure
– Hurtigrtuen is offering free rebooking for all guests on all voyages departing before Sept. 30, 2020. In addition, guests are being offered a future discount of 10% for any future Hurtigruten cruise – Expedition or Norwegian Coastal – in 2020 or 2021.
For more information go to https://global.hurtigruten.com/practical-information/coronavirus-update/.
AmaWaterways has also once again pushed back the start of its 2020 sailing season from June 30 to July 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel agents are being encouraged to visit AmaWaterways.com/travel-updates for current terms and conditions associated with the suspension of cruises. Additionally, FAQs are posted on the Travel Advisor Portal at Amawaterways.com/agent-login.
“As this unprecedented situation continues to evolve, we remain attentive to the latest developments in order to adapt our operations to best safeguard the health and well-being of our guests and crew. Due to continued efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, we have made the decision to suspend river cruise operations through July 31, 2020, at this time,” says Rudi Schreiner, AmaWaterways president and co-founder. “We are in the process of contacting all travel advisors who have clients affected by this new suspension date in order to provide them with options best suited to their clients’ needs.”
Schreiner adds that though the temporary suspension is necessary, the company is in a “secure position” to resume cruising once it is safe to do so.
“Our ships and our teams are on standby anxiously waiting the day when we’re able to once again welcome guests onboard to experience the magic of an AmaWaterways river cruise,” he says.