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

Jan 13, 2021

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When will the Great Cruise Shutdown end? That’s the question cruise fans in North America have been asking for months as they 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, despite a recent effort to restart operations by one small line.

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In November, SeaDream Yacht Club attempted to resume voyages in North America with Caribbean sailings out of Barbados on its small, 112-passenger SeaDream 1. But the yacht-like ship’s first Caribbean voyage did not go well, to put it mildly. It ended with a COVID-19 outbreak and a quarantine for passengers.

SeaDream has since canceled remaining sailings for the winter season. It doesn’t have any sailings on its schedule until April.

As of right now, all of the major cruise lines have canceled all sailings in North America through at least early April and, in some cases, into May. Princess, for instance recently canceled all sailings through May 15 — not just in North America but around the world.

Related: Cruise ships that restarted in Europe over the summer are shutting back down

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara on Tuesday canceled all sailings in most parts of the world through the end of April.

Some lines have gone even further, canceling some sailings into June or even July. In a few cases, on specific ships, voyages have been canceled as far out as September. Carnival, for instance, has canceled sailings into September on three of its 24 vessels.

Here’s a look at the dates when major river, ocean and expedition cruise brands that market to North Americans say they’ll resume operations:

Adventure Canada has canceled sailings on Ocean Endeavour through the end of May.

AmaWaterways says it will evaluate 2021 river cruise sailings 45 days in advance before deciding on any suspensions. The line traditionally doesn’t operate sailings in January or February and begins its spring season in mid-March.

American Cruise Lines hopes to resume departures in early 2021.

American Queen Steamboat Company has canceled all sailings into March. Voyages on American Duchess and American Countess are suspended through March 14 and March 27, respectively. American Empress and American Queen sailings are on hold through April 11 and May 16, respectively.

Aurora Expeditions is hoping its 132-passenger Greg Mortimer will be able to resume sailings in time for the summer Arctic cruise season.

Avalon Waterways has suspended operations through March 15.

Azamara has canceled all departures through the end of April.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is not currently operating and no longer taking reservations for future sailings.

Birka Cruises has shut down.

Blount Small Ship Adventures has shut down.

Carnival Cruise Line has canceled departures on all 24 of its ships through the end of March, and departures on a few of its vessels have been canceled for much longer. Sailings on three vessels that require maintenance in a dry dock — Carnival Paradise, Carnival Valor and Carnival Magic — have been canceled through May 31, Sept. 11 and Sept. 24. In addition, Carnival has canceled sailings on its Galveston, Texas-based Carnival Freedom through April 10 and the West Coast-based Carnival Miracle through Sept. 16.

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

Celebrity Cruises has canceled all sailings through at least the end of April. Celebrity also has canceled the May 1 sailing of Celebrity Apex (a transatlantic voyage) and Europe sailings of Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Constellation scheduled to take place from May through October.

Celestyal Cruises has canceled all sailings through April 24.

Costa Cruises resumed cruises out of Italy on Sept. 6 with one ship at first and then a couple more. But the line has since scaled back its offerings due to growing travel restrictions in Europe. The sailings only have been open to European travelers.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has shut down.

Crystal Cruises has canceled all ocean ship departures through the end of April. The line’s two main ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, are now scheduled to return to service on May 1 and May 24, respectively. River cruises at Crystal also have been canceled through the end of April. The line also has delayed the debut of its new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor.

Cunard Line has canceled all departures through mid-May. Queen Victoria now is scheduled to return to service on May 17. Sailings on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth have been canceled through May 28 and June 4, respectively.

Disney Cruise Line has canceled all departures through the end of March. Disney Wonder and Disney Dream now are scheduled to resume sailings on April 2. Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic are now scheduled to return to service on April 3. A handful of longer sailings in May, June and July also have been canceled.

Emerald Waterways has canceled all sailings through the end of March.

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 the end of April as well as a significant number of sailings in May and June. Five of the line’s 10 vessels — Eurodam, Oosterdam, Volendam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam — won’t return to service until June.

Jalesh Cruises has shut down.

MSC Cruises resumed limited departures out of Italian ports for Europeans only on Aug. 16 but suspended the trips in December due to growing travel restrictions in Europe. The line has canceled North American departures through the end of March.

Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled sailings on all ships through the end of March.

Oceania Cruises has canceled sailings through the end of March.

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

Ponant resumed sailings in France, Croatia and Iceland, on new itineraries, in July but recently suspended the trips due to growing travel restrictions in Europe.

Pullmantur, citing the impact of the cruising shutdown, filed for reorganization under Spanish insolvency laws over the summer of 2020 and is no longer operating.

Princess Cruises has canceled sailings through May 15. The line has canceled cruises in Japan through June 26.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has canceled sailings on all ships through the end of March. In addition, the line has canceled its 2021 world cruise.

Royal Caribbean has canceled all departures through the end of April, with the exception of sailings out of Singapore and China. The line began limited sailings out of Singapore for Singapore residents only on Dec. 1.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has canceled all sailings through the end of March.

Seabourn has canceled all departures through mid-April as well as a significant number of voyages through the rest of 2021.

Sea Cloud Cruises has canceled sailings through April 14.

SeaDream Yacht Club has canceled all sailings through early April.

Silversea has canceled sailings on all ships through early 2021. Most ships now are scheduled to resume operations in April, May or June. Silver Origin, the line’s new ship in the Galapagos, now is scheduled to begin operations on April 3.

Star Clippers has canceled all sailings through at least early April. Star Clipper now is scheduled to resume service on April 3. Star Flyer and Royal Clipper are due back in service on April 16 and April 19, respectively.

Tauck has canceled sailings through the end of January.

UnCruise Adventures has canceled all sailings through the spring season.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has canceled sailings through the spring season.

Variety Cruises resumed limited sailings on July 24.

Victory Cruise Lines has no cruises scheduled to depart until April 24.

Viking has canceled sailings through the end of March.

Virgin Voyages has postponed the Miami debut of its first ship, Scarlet Lady, until May 9. The arrival of its second vessel, Valiant Lady, has been pushed back by six months to Nov. 14.

Windstar Cruises has canceled all sailings through the end of April. The line’s Star Legend and Wind Surf now are scheduled to return to service on May 1 and May 9, respectively. Star Breeze, Wind Star and Wind Spirit are due back in service on May 15, May 19 and May 30, respectively. Star Pride is scheduled to return to service on July 14.

Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Feature image courtesy of SeaDream Yacht Club

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