By: Tejeshwar Singh Rana, Chief Officer-Merchant Navy & Associate Editor-ICN International
In continued response to the impact of the COVID-19 global outbreak and the recent order from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Princess Cruises is canceling all voyages through June 30, 2020. The cruise line had previously announced a voluntary pause for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing March 12 to May 10, 2020.
In addition, Princess Cruises can confirm modifications to the Alaska season, which includes the cancellation of all Princess Alaska Gulf cruise and cruisetours. The five wilderness lodges, trains and buses operated by Princess in Alaska will not open this summer. We will continue round-trip sailings from Seattle to Alaska on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.
“This global outbreak continues to challenge our world in unimaginable ways. We recognize how disappointing this is to our long-term business partners and thousands of employees, many of whom have been with us in Alaska for decades,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We hope everyone impacted by these cancellations – especially our guests, travel advisor partners, teammates, and the communities we visit – understand our decision to do our part to protect the safety, health and well-being of our guests and team. We look forward to the brighter days and smooth seas ahead for all of us.”
Each ship will have a unique return to service date, based on the previously published cruise itineraries, with some modifications, departing after July 1. Details about the canceled voyages can be found here.
Princess Cruises is offering two cancellation options. Guests currently booked on these canceled voyages, who have paid in full, will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid and, as an added incentive, an additional 25% FCC. Guests must use their credits on a cruise that sails on or before May 1, 2022. No action is required for guests to receive this offer and they will be notified by e-mail once the credits have been issued.
Alternatively, guests can receive a full refund for all monies paid in full on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by May 31, 2020, or they will receive the Future Cruise Credit option. Guests who have not yet paid in full will receive a refund of all monies paid.
Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for canceled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the critical role travel advisors play in the cruise line’s business and success.
Princess asks guests to please delay in calling the Reservation Call Center due to high call volumes. Guests and their travel advisors will be sent communications on how to manage cancellations, rebook another voyage, or request a refund.
The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations can be found at www.princess.com
Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, announced today that it will extend the voluntarily pause of global operations for its five cruise ships to voyages scheduled to depart through June 30, 2020.
The brand had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 – May 14, 2020, effectively cancelling all voyages scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision is a proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.
Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension window with all booked guests and their travel advisors.
Seabourn guests on impacted voyages will receive a 125% refund on monies received in the form of a future cruise credit, which must be booked by Dec. 30, 2020 but can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2021. For guests who do not opt to choose the 125% future cruise credit, a 100% refund of the monies paid to Seabourn will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.
Guests and their travel advisors will be sent details on how to manage cancellations and desired compensation online. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.
Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to extend the suspension of sailings of our global fleet through June 11, 2020.
We are working with our guests to address this disruption to their vacations, and we are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience.
We expect to return to service on June 12