More major cruise lines cancel sailings through the height of summer

May 21, 2020

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Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are joining the list of cruise operators cancelling sailings well into the summer.

Miami-based Norwegian early Wednesday cancelled all sailings through the start of August. So did its smaller sister brands, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

In a one-on-one interview earlier this month, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio told TPG that Norwegian and its sister brands might not resume sailing until September or beyond. But as of Tuesday, the lines only had cancelled sailings through 30 June.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is the parent company of the three brands.

Royal Caribbean also will be cancelling nearly all sailings through the start of August, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley said Wednesday in a conference call with Wall Street analysts. The exception will be some July sailings out of China, he said. As of early Wednesday, Royal Caribbean only had cancelled voyages through 12 June.

Norwegian and Royal Caribbean are among the last of the major cruise lines to cancel July sailings.

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Two of the world’s big cruise brands, Princess Cruises and Holland America, recently cancelled most of their sailings well into the fall.

Both Princess and Holland America cancelled all remaining cruises in Europe, Alaska and the New England and Canada region for the rest of the year, and Princess also cancelled all Caribbean sailings through 4 November.

Holland America also cancelled a 79-day Grand Africa voyage that was scheduled to begin in Boston on 3 October and end in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Other lines that have cancelled large chunks of their summer schedules in recent days include Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line and Seabourn. The latter line, a luxury cruise specialist, has said its five small ships won’t return to service until either October or November, depending on the vessel.

Carnival Cruise Line has said it hoped to resume sailings in August with eight of its 27 ships. The rest of its fleet won’t sail again until at least September. Disney has said three of its four ships won’t sail again until early August. One vessel now is scheduled to resume sailing on 31 July.

All the aforementioned brands announced worldwide halts to operations in mid-March as the new coronavirus spread rapidly around the globe. But until the past two weeks, none of the lines had cancelled sailings beyond June.

The most recent cancellations from Princess, Holland America and Seabourn, in particular, are stunning in their scope. Many of the ships operated by the lines now won’t sail again for at least another four to six months.

Notably, Princess now plans to resume operations in August with just one of its 18 ships, the Majestic Princess. The vessel will offer two short sailings to Japan out of Taiwan aimed at the local market before repositioning to Australia.

If the new schedule holds, nine more Princess will resume sailing in September, mostly in the Australia and New Zealand region and on the West Coast of North America. Some of the nine ships won’t begin sailing again until the very end of September.

In extending their halts to cruising, many of the lines blamed coronavirus outbreak-related restrictions on travel around the globe.

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All of the lines are offering passengers on cancelled sailings a choice of a full refund or a credit for a future cruise.

Cruise lines around the world began halting operations the week of 9 March as coronavirus cases surged globally. Initially, most lines said they were just pausing operations for 30 days. But lines have been extending their shutdowns further out in waves ever since.

Here’s a look at the current status of operations at major river, ocean and expedition cruise brands that market to North Americans:

Adventure Canada has cancelled all 2020 departures.

AmaWaterways has cancelled all sailings through 31 July.

American Cruise Lines has cancelled all sailings through 14 June.

American Queen Steamboat Company has cancelled all sailings through 21 June.

Avalon Waterways has cancelled all sailings through 31 August.

Azamara has cancelled all sailings through 31 July.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has cancelled sailings on Grand Celebration through 13 June. Sailings on Grand Classica are cancelled through 10 July.

Carnival Cruise Line has cancelled most departures through 31 August. The exceptions are sailings on eight ships — Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation — that are scheduled to resume on 1 August. Carnival also has cancelled all sailings from New York City and San Francisco for the rest of the year as well as all Alaska sailings.

Celebrity Cruises has cancelled all sailings through July 31.

Celestyal Cruises has cancelled all sailings through 28 June.

Costa Cruises has cancelled all sailings through 30 June. Ships currently are scheduled to resume service from 2 July to 14 July, depending on the vessel.

Cunard Line has cancelled all sailings through 31 July.

Crystal Cruises has cancelled all river, yacht and ocean sailings through the end of June. The line also has delayed the debut of its new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, until 14 November.

Disney Cruise Line has cancelled all departures worldwide through 28 July. The line’s four ships will resume service from 31 July through 5 August.

Emerald Waterways has cancelled all sailings through 31 August.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has suspended all sailings and says on its website that it expects that to be case “until mid-June.”

Holland America has cancelled all Europe, Alaska, Canada and New England sailings for the rest of the year.

MSC Cruises has cancelled all sailings through 10 July.

Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled all sailings through 31 July. Voyages on Norwegian Sun have been cancelled through 18 October.

Oceania Cruises has cancelled all sailings through 31 July.

Paul Gauguin Cruises has cancelled all sailings until an unspecified date. The line says sailings will resume “in the near future.”

Ponant has cancelled cruises on its 11 vessels through varying dates in May and June.

Princess Cruises has cancelled all Europe and Alaska sailings, plus cruises in the Canada and New England region, for the rest of the year. It has cancelled Caribbean sailings through 4 November. Other cancellations include Japan cruises on Diamond Princess into the fall and Australia-based cruises on Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess through August.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has cancelled all sailings through 31 July.

Royal Caribbean has cancelled all sailings through 31 July, with the exception of cruises out of China. Cruises out of China have been cancelled through 30 June.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has cancelled all sailings through 31 August. Scenic Eclipse sailings have been halted through 30 September.

Seabourn has cancelled all sailings into October. The line’s five ships will return to service from 13 October to 20 November.

SeaDream Yacht Club has cancelled all sailings through 15 May.

Silversea has cancelled departures into July with most ships resuming service between 16 July and 26 July. Silver Wind won’t resume sailing until 11 November. Silversea also has pushed off the debut of two new ships scheduled to debut this year. Silver Origin won’t arrive until 22 August. Silver Moon now will debut no earlier than 2 October.

Tauck has cancelled all sailings through 31 July.

UnCruise Adventures has cancelled Alaska departures until mid-July.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has cancelled sailings through 30 June.

Victory Cruise Lines has cancelled all sailings on Victory I through the end of June (sailings will resume 5 July). All sailings on Victory II have been cancelled for the rest of the year.

Viking has cancelled all sailings through the end of June.

Virgin Voyages has postponed its inaugural voyage until 16 October.

Windstar Cruises has cancelled all sailings through early September. The line’s three sailing ships — Wind Spirit, Wind Surf and Wind Star — will resume operations in September, November and January, respectively. Its three motor ships — Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride — will restart operations in October, March 2021 and July 2021.

Feature image courtesy of Princess Cruises.

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