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

Sep 18, 2020

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

While we have seen a few cruise ships resume operations in Europe and other destinations around the world in recent months, most of these vessels remain off limits to Americans.

Meanwhile, cruising remains completely shut down in North America.

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The bad news, for those who are itching to cruise again, is that many ships aimed at North Americans might not return to service for at least a few more months. Many of the lines that North Americans know best including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line already have canceled all sailings through early November.

Some lines have gone even further, canceling sailings well into 2021.

Just a few weeks ago, Cunard canceled sailings on all three of its vessels through late March 2021. One of the line’s ships won’t return to service until at least May 2021. Princess Cruises has canceled most 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. It currently extends through Sept. 30 but is expected to be extended. Canada also has issued a cruise ship ban that will remain in effect until at least Oct. 31. In addition, cruise lines 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 for U.S. travelers through Nov. 15.

American Cruise Lines hopes to resume departures in September.

American Queen Steamboat Company has canceled all sailings through Dec. 31.

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

Avalon Waterways has canceled all sailings through Nov. 14.

Azamara has canceled all departures through Oct. 31 as well as Azamara Quest voyages on Nov. 4 and Nov. 14.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has canceled sailings through the end of October.

Birka Cruises has shut down.

Blount Small Ship Adventures has shut down.

Carnival Cruise Line has canceled all departures through at least the end of October. But four of the line’s 23 ships — Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Valor and Carnival Spirit — won’t return to service until between March and June. Carnival also has canceled sailings from New York City and San Francisco for the rest of the year.

Related: New COVID-era cruise restriction: No leaving the ship without an escort  

Celebrity Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.

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

Costa Cruises resumed cruises out of Italy on Sept. 6 with a single ship, Costa Deliziosa. A second Costa vessel, Costa Diadema, will resume sailings on Sept. 19. Sailings on all other Costa ships have been canceled through the end of September.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has shut down.

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

Cunard Line has canceled all departures through late March. Queen Elizabeth now is scheduled to return to service on March 25, 2021. Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria are scheduled to return to service on April 18, 2021, and May 16, 2021, respectively.

Disney Cruise Line has canceled all departures through mid-December. Disney Fantasy is scheduled to resume sailings on Dec. 12. Disney Dream, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic are scheduled to restart trips on Dec. 14, Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, respectively.

Emerald Waterways has canceled all sailings through Oct. 31.

FTI Cruises has shut down.

Hurtigruten in July resumed sailings to the Arctic with two ships after resuming limited cruises from Hamburg, Germany, to Norway with one ship in June. But the line has since stopped the sailings following a significant COVID-19 outbreak on one of the vessels.

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

MSC Cruises resumed limited departures out of Italian ports on Aug. 16 but has canceled 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 canceled sailings through Oct. 31.

Oceania Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.

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

Ponant resumed sailings in France, Croatia and Iceland, 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 Group brands. Royal Caribbean Group owns a 49% stake in Pullmantur.

Princess Cruises has canceled most sailings through Dec. 15. The line also has canceled world cruises on the Island Princess and Pacific Princess scheduled for early 2021.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.

Royal Caribbean has canceled all departures through Oct. 31, except for some China sailings.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has canceled all sailings through Oct. 31.

Seabourn has canceled nearly all sailings for the rest of the year. Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Encore are now scheduled to return to service on Jan. 3, 2021, and Jan. 6, 2021, respectively. Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Sojourn are now scheduled to return to service in May 2021 (the 2021 world cruise on Seabourn Sojourn has been canceled). Only Seabourn Odyssey is still scheduled to sail in 2020, during December.

Sea Cloud Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 1.

SeaDream Yacht Club restarted sailings on June 20 with new Norwegian coast itineraries aimed at local Norwegian travelers. Both of its two ships were redeployed to Norway for the trips. The line plans to resume sailings in the Caribbean on Nov. 7.

Silversea has canceled sailings through Oct. 31. Most ships now are scheduled to resume operations between Oct. 10 and Nov. 17. One exception: Silver Wind, which now isn’t scheduled to resume operations until June 14, 2021. Silversea also has pushed off the debut of two new ships scheduled to arrive this year. Silver Moon now is scheduled to debut on Nov. 8. Silver Origin won’t arrive until Nov. 7.

Star Clippers has canceled sailings on its three vessels into early November.

Tauck has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.

UnCruise Adventures has canceled all sailings for the rest of the year.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has canceled sailings through the end of October.

Variety Cruises resumed limited sailings on July 24.

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

Viking has canceled all 2020 sailings.

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

Windstar Cruises has canceled all sailings for the rest of the year. Voyages on Star Legend and Star Pride have been canceled until March 2021 and July 2021, respectively.

Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Feature image courtesy of SeaDream Yacht Club

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