TORONTO — Several cruise lines are extending their pause of operations, further delaying the resumption of global cruising by several more weeks.
Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Windstar have all announced extended pauses and additional cruise cancellations due to ongoing travel restrictions amid the global pandemic.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE
Carnival Cruise Line has notified booked guests and travel advisors that its pause in operations from U.S. ports has been extended through May 31, 2021.
The cruise line previously announced U.S. departures would be paused through April 30, 2021. A date for the resumption of operations from U.S. ports has not yet been determined.
Earlier in February, Carnival began providing more flexible options for guests booked into early summer so that they could cancel their reservation without penalty if they needed or wanted to make other plans. As it has done throughout the pause, Carnival is providing guests on cruises cancelled today the choice of a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package, or a full refund.
Following the Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order to extend the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, Princess Cruises has cancelled the following voyages:
Alaska 7-day ‘Voyage of the Glaciers’ cruises, sailing between Vancouver and Anchorage (Whittier)
Pacific Coastals that start or end in Vancouver, B.C.
‘Canadian Adventure’ sailing roundtrip from Southampton, U.K.
Princess is engaging with various Canadian and U.S. government officials to try to preserve a portion of the Alaska and Canada & New England 2021 cruise seasons. In the meantime, Princess has committed to operating the Kenai Princess Wilderness lodge along with McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali and Westmark Fairbanks Hotel this summer, and is currently working on vacation land package details that will be announced shortly.
For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage who had paid in full, Princess will automatically rebook them to the same cruise or cruisetour in 2022. No action is required from guests or their travel advisors. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests’ 2021 fare on their 2022 cruise. Once Princess has completed the booking transfer, if the guest would prefer an alternative option, they can choose a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid, plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum US$25), or a full refund to the original form of payment.
Guests not paid in full will automatically receive a refundable FCC equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid, plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum US$25).
FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by Dec. 31, 2022. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by March 31, 2021 or guests who are not paid in full will automatically receive the FCC option.
Princess will transfer the commission earned by travel advisors from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Similar to Princess Cruises, Holland America has also been impacted by Canada’s extended cruise ban. The cruise line is extending its pause of cruise operations to now include all sailings that depart from or conclude in a Canadian port in 2021. This will include several Alaska, three Canada/New England and two Pacific Coastal cruises in summer and fall of this year. It also includes all Land+Sea Journeys.
At this time, Alaska cruises departing from mid-May and sailing roundtrip from Seattle, Washington are not being cancelled. Discussions are underway with Canadian and U.S. government authorities to try to find a path forward to preserve these sailings.
Guests on impacted Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys involving a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, gateway may not move to roundtrip Seattle cruises at this time, as these departures are not open for sale pending further announcements.
Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:
Alaska: Cruises through September 2021 to Alaska from all departure ports aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Zuiderdam; this also includes any Land+Sea Journeys connected with cancelled Alaska sailings
Pacific Coastal: Two sailings in early October aboard Koningsdam and Oosterdam
Canada/New England: Three cruises aboard Zaandam departing in September 2021
All 2022 Alaska and Canada/New England cruises will operate as scheduled. The Canadian Interim Order expires Feb. 28, 2022.
Holland America Line is notifying guests and their travel advisors of their options. Guests on Alaska and Canada/New England canceled departures that are paid in full automatically will be rebooked on an equivalent cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021 – with all cash and FCC funds moved to the new booking. No other action is needed when accepting the rebooked itinerary. Replacement 2022 booking confirmations will be automatically sent within 30 days of this announcement.
Guests who have paid in full will be automatically rebooked to the same cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021. Those with bookings not paid in full may elect to be moved to the same cruise type or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021.
If guests decide not to accept a cruise booking in 2022 by March 31, 2021, they automatically default to receive an FCC of 110% of any cash paid on the booking. The minimum FCC is $25 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid. Guests will retain any other FCC used for the cancelled 2021 booking with all FCC amounts moved to their loyalty account for use on a future cruise booking. For all bookings in 2022, standard cancellation policies will apply.
Due to the fact that there are no equivalent cruises in 2022, Pacific Coastal cruise guests will receive the option for an FCC or full refund. Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences Form to indicate their preference no later than March 31, 2021.
The FCC is valid for sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. Non-cruise fare purchases — such as shore excursions, air fares, gifts, dining and spa — will be transferred to a new booking or automatically refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services to the original form of payment.
The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line.
Holland America Line previously paused global cruise operations and canceled all departures on all ships through April 30, 2021, as well as Alaska cruises through mid-May or early June, Mediterranean cruises through early June and Canada/New England itineraries through August.
Windstar has made the decision to postpone its resumption of operations from May to June 2021, citing current COVID-19 transmission rates, travel restrictions and government regulations as the main deciding factors. The cruise line will restart cruise operations in a phased manner, with the initial cruises having reduced guest occupancy, some modified itineraries, and enhanced health and safety protocols.
The new timeline for resumption of operations is as follows:
Wind Spirit: June 10, 2021, Tahiti
Star Breeze: June 19, 2021, Caribbean
Wind Star: June 19, 2021, Mediterranean
Wind Surf: June 29, 2021, Mediterranean
Star Legend: July 4, 2021, Mediterranean
Star Pride: July 14, 2021, Northern Europe/Iceland
Impacted guests will receive either an FCC valued at 125% of monies paid to Windstar or a 100% refund.
In preparation of its return to sailing, Windstar’s new ‘Beyond Ordinary Care’ program is a multi-layered strategy with hospital-grade elements, including HEPA filters and UV-C ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to filter and disinfect circulated air, plus electrostatic sprayers to sanitize all surfaces throughout our yachts. To learn more go to https://www.windstarcruises.com/health-safety/.