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

Jun 25, 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 its likely many major lines will remain completely shut down at least into the fall.

While we are seeing some very small cruise vessels — river ships, for instance, and coastal cruisers — starting to resume operations in Europe (with trips mostly aimed at local vacationers), most major lines have canceled sailings through at least September. A few lines have gone even further.

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Just Tuesday, cruise giant Royal Caribbean and two of its sister brands, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, canceled sailings into mid-September. The move came a day after Carnival Cruise Line canceled sailings until early October. Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises also have canceled nearly all sailings into early October, and Cunard Line has dropped trips until November.

In North America, the cancellations are partly being driven by a 100-day “no-sail” order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is likely to be extended, and a cruise ship ban by Canada that will remain in effect until at least Oct. 31. 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 canceled all 2020 departures.

AmaWaterways has canceled all sailings through Aug. 31.

American Cruise Lines hopes to resume limited departures of some routes in July. But most sailings in the coming weeks have been canceled.

American Queen Steamboat Company has canceled all sailings through early August. The line plans to resume service in the Pacific Northwest on Aug. 2 with sailings on the American Empress. Trips on the Mississippi River complex now are scheduled to resume on Aug. 8 with sailings on the American Countess and American Queen. The American Duchess will resume trips on Aug. 16.

Avalon Waterways has canceled all sailings through Aug. 31.

Azamara has canceled all sailings through Sept. 15.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line plans to resume sailings on Grand Celebration on July 25. Sailings on Grand Classica will resume on Oct. 2.

Carnival Cruise Line has canceled nearly all departures worldwide through the end of September. Carnival also has canceled all 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 canceled most sailings through Sept. 15. The line also has canceled all fall sailings to Canada and New England, and Hawaii.

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

Costa Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 31.

Crystal Cruises has canceled sailings of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity through Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, respectively. The line also has canceled October sailings to Canada on Crystal Serenity and replaced them with trips out of Miami. Sailings of Crystal Esprit are canceled through October, and all river sailings are canceled through Sept. 6. The line also has delayed the debut of its new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, until 2021.

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

Disney Cruise Line has canceled all departures through mid-September. Disney Wonder and Disney Dream are scheduled to resume sailing on Sept. 18. Disney Fantasy is scheduled to restart trips on Sept. 19, with Disney Magic resuming operations on Oct. 12.

Emerald Waterways has canceled all sailings through Aug. 31.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 1.

Holland America has canceled all Europe, Alaska, Canada and New England sailings for the rest of the year. The line also has canceled a 79-day Grand Africa voyage that was scheduled to begin in Boston on Oct. 3 and end in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Also canceled: All sailings out of Vancouver in September and October, and some Hawaii cruises as far out as February 2021.

MSC Cruises has canceled all Caribbean sailings through Sept. 15, with sailings in other parts of the world canceled through July 31. The line also has canceled sailings out of New York City scheduled to take place between Sept. 5 and Oct. 22 on MSC Meraviglia. In addition, the line 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, Florida, from Nov. 2020 through March 2021. It will then be replaced in Port Canaveral by MSC Divina from March 2021 through Nov. 2021. MSC Meraviglia and MSC Armonia will be redeployed to Miami from Nov. 2020 through Nov. 2021.

Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled nearly all sailings through Sept. 30 and a few sailings in early October. Voyages on Norwegian Sun have been canceled through Oct. 18.

Oceania Cruises has canceled nearly all sailings through Sept. 30 and one sailing in early October.

Paul Gauguin Cruises plans to resume sailings in French Polynesia on July 11.

Ponant hopes to resume 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 canceled through at least Nov. 15, and affected customers are being offered cabins on ships operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises brands. Royal Caribbean Cruises owns a 49% stake in Pullmantur.

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 Sept. 30.

Royal Caribbean has canceled departures through Sept. 15. In addition, all Canada and Bermuda sailings have been canceled through the end of October. Voyager of the Seas sailings are canceled through Sept. 30.

Related: Where cruising could resume as early as July, according to Royal Caribbean CEO 

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.

Sea Cloud Cruises has canceled sailings through Aug. 1.

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

Silversea has canceled most departures into the fall, with most ships now scheduled to resume operations in September or October. Silversea also has pushed off the debut of two new ships scheduled to debut this year. Silver Moon now is scheduled to debut on Oct. 2. Silver Origin, the line’s new ship for the Galapagos, won’t begin operating until Aug. 22.

Star Clippers has canceled sailings on Royal Clipper and Star Flyer through Aug. 1. Star Clipper is now scheduled to resume sailing on Sept. 12.

Tauck has canceled sailings through Aug. 31.

UnCruise Adventures has canceled Alaska departures through the end of July.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has canceled sailings through July 15.

Variety Cruises has canceled all sailings through July 24.

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 the official debut of its first ship 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:

Feature image courtesy of SeaDream Yacht Club.

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