Cruise lines have been hugely impacted by the coronavirus crisis, having been thrust into the spotlight in the early days of the virus due to a number of passengers on major cruise lines becoming sick. Since then governments and health bodies have warned against cruise holidays, with the US Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing a no-sail ban. However, cruise lines remain positive about the future.
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As countries globally begin to loosen lockdown in varying degrees, a number of major cruise lines have updated their return to sea dates.
This is good news for travellers who have holidays booked with some cruise lines, however other cruise-lovers could be waiting some time.
Here is a full list of when some of the UK’s favourite cruise holiday providers will be taking to the seas again.
Carnival Cruises is currently planning a phased return to service which is anticipated to begin on August 1.
The following ships will be resumed to service:
Galveston: Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista
Miami: Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation
Port Canaveral: Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation.
Unfortunately, all other cruises will be cancelled until August 31, Carnival Spirit Vancouver-Honolulu cruise on September 25 and the Honolulu-Brisbane transpacific cruise on October 6.
The cruise line is also putting in place new travel restrictions, denying boarding to all guests over the age of 70 who do not have a note from their physician confirming they are fit to sail.
Guests who have a history of chronic or severe medical conditions, or those who have been hospitalised recently, will also not be allowed to sail.
Though Celebrity Cruises initially proposed restarting sailings as on June 12, the company has pushed back this date to August 1.
As a result, Celebrity Cruises has extended its Cruise with Confidence policy.
This allows customers to change any departure date up to September 1 2020, up to 48 hours prior to sailing, and receive a Future Cruise Credit for the amounts paid toward their cruise fare.
The cruise line is also denying boarding for all guests with one or more severe chronic medical conditions as specified by the CDC.
Any person over 70 must have a written letter from a qualified physician certifying they are safe to sail.
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Cunard is anticipating a restart date of August 1 for the Queen Mary 2 ship and the Queen Victoria ship, and September 9 for the Queen Elizabeth ship.
Queen Elizabeth’s Alaska season has been cancelled until September 8, 2020.
The line has initially hoped to restart sailings on May 16.
Guests who were due to sail between April 11 and May 15 will automatically receive a 125 percent future cruise credit which can be redeemed against any new booking, on any voyage sailing before the end of March 2022.
Disney currently plans to resume sailings from July 31.
Sailings onboard Disney Dream are planned to go ahead from July 31.
Sailings aboard Disney Fantasy from August 1 and Disney Wonder on August 3.
Meanwhile, Disney Magic will set sail on August 5.
Guests currently booked on affected sailings will be offered the choice of a cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 15 months of their original sail date or a full refund.
Fred.Olsen has suspended all ocean and river sailings for an indefinite period of time, therefore have no set date for when holidays will resume.
Customers are advised to stay up-to-date with the company website.
The cruise line has launched a ‘Booking Reassurance Guarantee.’
Those with a 2020 cruise booked, can now transfer to any 2020, 2021 or 2022 sailing, as long as you give at least 14 days’ notice.
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Marella Cruises has specified a preliminary start date for July 1.
This was pushed back from a planned restart date on June 1.
Passengers are being offered a refund credit for the full value of their holiday, alongside a separate booking incentive of up to 20 percent.
Passengers who do not wish to sail are able to apply for a refund.
MSC Cruises plans to restart sailings from July 11.
Guests who were booked onto a cruise before this date, or who hope to reschedule their cruise, can do so using the cruise line’s Flexible Cruise Programme.
This allows guests who have already booked, either directly or through a travel agent, to reschedule their cruise to any departure date up until 31st December 2021.
For those booked on a cruise only basis this change can be made up to 48-hours prior to original cruise departure, and for those booked on a Fly Cruise product 96-hours prior to departure.
For ships departing from Miami, MSC will deny guest with one or more severe chronic medical conditions as set out by the CDC.
Anyone over the age of 70 will be required to carry a note from a qualified physician confirming they are safe to travel.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is due to take to the seas from August 1, with all holidays cancelled up to July 31.
The cruise line has launched Peace of Mind, a temporary policy which allows new and existing individual and group bookings in non-chartered sailings embarking from May 15, 2020 through and including September 30, 2020 to cancel their booking up until 48 hours from the start of their holiday date and receive a 100 percent future cruise credit.
P&O has laid out a new planned restart date for July 31.
P&O Cruises Australia plan to restart on September 1.
Customers with P&O Cruises holidays booked to depart prior to and including 15 May 2020 are being offered a 125 percent Future Cruise Credit to be used for a future cruise sailing any time before the end of March 2022.
Guests must book by 31 December 2021 in order to qualify.
Princess has cancelled most of its cruises, as well as Alaskan cruise tours, until Autumn 2020.
This includes all routes in Europe, the Caribbean, New England/Canada, Asia, Australia, Hawaii and French Polynesia.
Customers will automatically be issued with a “default compensation offer” relating to their specific cruise.
Royal Caribbean has announced it will not set sail until August 1.
“We are working with our guests to address this disruption to their vacations, and we are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience,” said the cruise line.
The cruise line will deny boarding for all guests with one or more severe chronic medical conditions as specified by the CDC.
Boarding will also be denied to any person aged 70 or older unless they have a note from a physician stating they are fit to sail.
TUI River Cruises
The new line was initially due to set sail in March 2020, however, this date has been pushed back to November 26 2020.
Customers who no longer wish to sail can apply for a refund, or contact TUI to discuss other options.
Virgin Voyages has pushed back its inaugural Scarlet Lady sailing date to October 17.
The ship was initially supposed to take to the seas on her maiden voyage to the Caribbean from Miami in April 2020.
Those booked on a cruise that has been cancelled can opt for the following:
Affected customers can opt for 200 percent in Future Voyage Credit which can be applied to another sailing, rather than a refund. This is double the value of a Sailor’s existing booking.
Sailors can also receive up to $500 in onboard credit, if they rebook before June 30, 2020.
Alternatively, Virgin is offering a 100 percent refund, plus 25 percent Future Voyage Credit on the value paid to use for a future booking.
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