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More major cruise lines cancel sailings through the height of summer

May 20, 2020
9 min read
More major cruise lines cancel sailings through the height of summer
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Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are joining the list of cruise operators canceling sailings well into the summer.

Miami-based Norwegian early Wednesday canceled 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 canceled sailings through June 30.

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

Royal Caribbean also will be canceling 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 canceled voyages through June 12.

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

Visit TPG’s guide to all coronavirus news and updates

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

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

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

Related: Norwegian Cruise Line CEO shares his plan for a cruising comeback

Other lines that have canceled 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 July 31.

Related: Why you shouldn't take a voucher if your cruise is canceled

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 canceled 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.

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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 canceled 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 March 9 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 canceled all 2020 departures.

AmaWaterways has canceled all sailings through July 31.

American Cruise Lines plans to resume limited operations on June 20.

American Queen Steamboat Company plans to resume limited operations on the Mississippi River complex on July 20 with a single vessel, the American Duchess. The line has canceled sailings on the Mississippi River complex-based American Countess and American Queen through July 15 and has not announced specific restart dates for the vessels. The Pacific Northwest-based American Empress is now scheduled to resume operations on July 6.

Avalon Waterways has canceled all sailings through Aug. 31.

Azamara has canceled all sailings through July 31.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line plans to resume sailings on Grand Celebration on July 25. Sailings on Grand Classica will resume on Oct. 3.

Carnival Cruise Line has canceled most departures through Aug. 31. 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 Aug. 1. Carnival also has canceled all sailings from New York City and San Francisco for the rest of the year as well as all Alaska sailings.

Celebrity Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 31. The line also has canceled all Alaska sailings for the rest of the year as well as fall sailings to Canada and New England, and Hawaii.

Celestyal Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 30.

Costa Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 31.

Cunard Line has canceled all sailings through July 31.

Crystal Cruises has canceled sailings of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity through the end of July and end of August, respectively. Sailings of Crystal Esprit are canceled through Aug. 2, and all river sailings are canceled through the end of June. The line also has delayed the debut of its new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, until 2021.

Disney Cruise Line has canceled all departures worldwide through July 28. The line also has canceled all sailings out of Vancouver, B.C., through Sept. 14, including all Alaska sailings.

Emerald Waterways has canceled all sailings through Aug. 31.

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

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

MSC Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 31. The line also has sailings out of New York City scheduled to take place between Sept. 5 and Oct. 22 on MSC Meraviglia, and all cruises on MSC Divina and MSC Armonia from March to October 2021.

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

Oceania Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 31.

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

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

Princess Cruises has canceled all Europe and Alaska sailings for the rest of the year as well as all 2020 cruises in the Canada and New England region. The line also has canceled Caribbean sailings through Nov. 4. Other cancellations include Japan cruises on Diamond Princess into the fall and Australia cruises on Sapphire Princess, Majestic Princess, Sun Princess and Sea Princess through mid-September. Seven-night roundtrip West Coast cruises on Star Princess out of San Francisco scheduled for September and October also have been canceled.

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

Royal Caribbean has canceled all sailings through July 31, with the exception of cruises out of China. Cruises out of China have been canceled through June 30. The line also has canceled all Alaska sailings for the rest of the year.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has canceled all sailings through Aug. 31. Scenic Eclipse sailings have been halted through Sept. 30.

Seabourn has canceled all sailings into October. The line's five ships will return to service from Oct. 13 to Nov. 20.

SeaDream Yacht Club has canceled Mediterranean voyages through the end of August. The line has relocated one of its vessels to Norway with plans to resume sailings there in June.

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

Tauck has canceled all sailings through July 31.

UnCruise Adventures has canceled Alaska departures until mid-July.

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

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

Viking has canceled all sailings through the end of August.

Virgin Voyages has postponed its inaugural voyage until Oct. 16.

Windstar Cruises has canceled 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.

Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Featured image by Norwegian Cruise Line's 3,998-passenger Norwegian Encore. (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

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