When will cruise ships resume sailing? A line-by-line guide

Aug 12, 2020

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When will the Great Cruise Shutdown end? That’s the question many cruise fans are asking now as they eagerly await the day when they can get back on the high seas.

The bad news, for those who are itching to cruise again, is that many ships might not return to service for many months. Every major cruise line in the world suspended departures in mid-March as the coronavirus outbreak grew, and it’s likely many major lines will remain completely or mostly shut down at least into the fall.

While we are seeing a few cruise vessels — river ships, mostly, but also some ocean ships — starting to resume operations in Europe (with trips aimed at local holidaymakers) and a few other places such as French Polynesia, most major lines that cater to North Americans have cancelled sailings through October. A few lines have gone even further.

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Just last week, the main trade association for the world’s cruise lines said its members wouldn’t operate voyages in North America until at least November. Princess Cruises recently went further, cancelling most of its sailings into mid-December.

In North America, the cancellations are partly being driven by a “no-sail” order for cruise ships issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that currently extends through 30 September, and a cruise ship ban by Canada that will remain in effect until at least 31 October. Cruise lines also are contending with country-by-country travel restrictions and port closures around the world.

Here’s a look at the dates when major river, ocean and expedition cruise brands that market to North Americans say they will resume operations:

Adventure Canada has cancelled all 2020 departures.

AmaWaterways has cancelled all sailings for U.S. travellers through 30 September.

American Cruise Lines hopes to resume departures in September.

American Queen Steamboat Company has cancelled all sailings through the end of August.

Aurora Expeditions plans to resume operations on 31 March 2021. That said, it still is reviewing whether it will operate its Antarctica cruise season that starts in November.

Avalon Waterways has cancelled all sailings through 31 October.

Azamara has cancelled all departures through 31 October as well as Azamara Quest voyages on 4 November and 14 November.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has cancelled sailings through 30 September.

Birka Cruises has gone out of business.

Carnival Cruise Line has cancelled all North American departures through the end of October. The line has cancelled Australia departures through 29 October. Carnival also has cancelled sailings from New York City and San Francisco for the rest of the year.

Related: 17 destinations that may not welcome ships when cruising resumes 

Celebrity Cruises has cancelled sailings through 31 October, except for a handful of Australia sailings in October.

Celestyal Cruises has cancelled all sailings through March 6, 2021.

Costa Cruises plans to resume cruises out of Italy in September with two ships, Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema. The vessels will resume sailings on 6 September and 19 September, respectively. Sailings on all other Costa ships have been cancelled through the end of September.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has shut down.

Crystal Cruises has cancelled all remaining sailings for 2020. The line also has delayed the debut of its new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, until 2021.

Cunard Line has cancelled departures of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria through 1 November. Sailings of Queen Elizabeth have been cancelled through 23 November.

Disney Cruise Line has cancelled all departures through the end of October. Disney Fantasy is scheduled to resume sailings on 2 November. Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Wonder are scheduled to restart trips on 12 November, 13 November and 20 November, respectively.

Emerald Waterways has cancelled all sailings through 31 October.

FTI Cruises has shut down.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in July resumed sailings to the Arctic after resuming limited cruises from Hamburg, Germany to Norway in June. The line also has resumed its coastal service along the Norwegian coast. For now, the trips only are open to Europeans.

Holland America has cancelled all sailings through 15 December. The line also has cancelled some Hawaii cruises as far out as February 2021.

MSC Cruises plans to resume limited departures out of Italian ports on 16 August but has cancelled most sailings through the end of October. The line also has made changes to its itineraries in North America for the coming year. MSC Seaside will be redeployed to a new home port in Port Canaveral from November 2020 through March 2021. It will then be replaced in Port Canaveral by MSC Divina from March 2021 through November 2021. MSC Meraviglia and MSC Armonia will be redeployed to Miami from November 2020 through November 2021.

Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled sailings through 31 October.

Oceania Cruises has cancelled sailings through 31 October.

Paul Gauguin Cruises resumed sailings in French Polynesia on 11 July.

Ponant resumed some sailings in France, on new itineraries, in July.

Pullmantur, citing the impact of the cruising shutdown, has filed for reorganization under Spanish insolvency laws. All sailings are cancelled through at least 15 November, and affected customers are being offered cabins on ships operated by Royal Caribbean Group brands. Royal Caribbean Group owns a 49% stake in Pullmantur.

Princess Cruises has cancelled most sailings through 15 December. Voyages in and out of Australia on Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess only have been cancelled through 31 October.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has cancelled sailings through 31 October.

Royal Caribbean has cancelled all departures through 31 October, except for some China and Australia sailings.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has cancelled all sailings through 31 October.

Seabourn has cancelled all departures into November, with four of its five ships now scheduled to return in November and December. The line has cancelled the 2021 world cruise scheduled to begin in January on the 600-passenger Seabourn Sojourn, and that ship will not sail again until at least late May 2021.

Sea Cloud Cruises has cancelled sailings through 1 October.

SeaDream Yacht Club restarted sailings on 20 June with new Norwegian coast itineraries aimed at local Norwegian travellers. Both of its two ships have redeployed to Norway for the trips. The line has cancelled its Mediterranean voyages through the end of August.

Silversea has cancelled sailings through 31 October, except for some sailings in the Galapagos, Asia and South America. Most ships now are scheduled to resume operations between 10 October and 10 November. One exception: Silver Wind, which now isn’t scheduled to resume operations until 14 June, 2021. Silversea also has pushed off the debut of two new ships scheduled to debut this year. Silver Moon now is scheduled to debut on 8 November. Silver Origin won’t arrive until 19 September.

Star Clippers has cancelled sailings on its three vessels into early September.

Tauck has cancelled all sailings through 1 October.

UnCruise Adventures plans to resume some Alaska cruising on 1 August.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has cancelled sailings through 15 September.

Variety Cruises resumed limited sailings on 24 July.

Victory Cruise Lines has cancelled all sailings for the rest of the year.

Viking has cancelled all sailings through the end of September.

Virgin Voyages has postponed the official debut of its first ship until 16 October.

Windstar Cruises has cancelled all sailings through mid-October. The line’s three sailing ships — Wind Spirit, Wind Surf and Wind Star — will resume operations in October, 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 SeaDream Yacht Club.

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