When will cruise ships resume sailing? A line-by-line guide
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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 since last summer, most of these vessels remain off-limits to Americans.
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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 all remaining sailings for the winter season. It doesn’t have any voyages on its schedule until May.
As of right now, most cruise lines have canceled all sailings in North America into May or June. The exception are some small-ship lines such as American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines that operate vessels on U.S. rivers and in U.S. coastal areas. These smaller lines hope to restart operations as early as March.
For the most part, cruise lines also have canceled all sailings in other parts of the world until May or June, though as mentioned above, a few ships have restarted service in Europe and other regions.
In a few cases, on specific ships, voyages have been canceled as far out as early 2022. One small line that specializes in cruises to Canada, Adventure Canada, canceled all its Canada sailings until the spring of 2022 after Canada announced it wouldn’t allow cruise ships to dock in Canada at all this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic also has thrown a wrench into the launch plans for startup line Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. It has now pushed back its inaugural voyage to July 24.
Here’s a look at 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 until 2022.
AmaWaterways traditionally doesn’t operate sailings in January or February and begins its spring season in mid-March. As of now, the line only has canceled its initial 2021 sailings through the end of April. It says it will evaluate sailings beyond that 45 days in advance of their start dates.
American Cruise Lines plans to resume some domestic U.S. river and coastal cruises in March, with their full 13-ship fleet of riverboats and small ships resuming in all regions by early summer.
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 April 30 for passengers from the United States.
Azamara has canceled all departures through the end of April.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is not currently operating and is 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 May, and departures on a few of its vessels have been canceled for much longer. Sailings on three Carnival vessels that require maintenance in a dry dock — Carnival Paradise, Carnival Valor and Carnival Magic — have been canceled through November.
Carnival also has canceled all Carnival Miracle sailings from San Diego through April 2023, with the exception of seven Hawaii voyages that now will depart from Long Beach, California.
The Carnival Miracle cancellations will allow for the ship to redeploy to Long Beach, where it will assume the three- and four-day itineraries that had been scheduled to take place on Carnival Radiance through Nov. 1. Carnival Miracle also will launch a new program of four- and five-day cruises to Mexico out of Long Beach starting in November through April 2023.
Carnival Radiance, in turn, will remain out of service until November to undergo an overhaul.
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 shut down the operations due to travel restrictions in Europe. The line now plans to resume operations in Europe with a single vessel, Costa Smeralda, on March 27. All other sailings have been canceled through at least the end of April.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages has shut down.
Crystal Cruises has canceled all ocean ship departures into July. The line’s two main ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, are now scheduled to resume departures on July 7 and July 8, respectively. Its yacht-like Crystal Esprit is now scheduled to return to service on Aug. 8. Crystal’s river ships are now scheduled to resume service between June 4 and June 7. The line also has delayed the debut of its new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, until mid-September.
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. In addition, the line has halted sales for cruises eight days or longer that include a call at a U.S. port through Nov. 1.
Disney Cruise Line has canceled all departures into June. Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream now are scheduled to resume sailings on June 2 and 4, respectively. Disney Wonder is now scheduled to return to service on June 7. All sailings on Disney Magic, which had been scheduled to spend the summer in Europe, are now canceled through Aug. 18. In addition, two longer sailings on the Disney Wonder and Disney Fantasy in June and July also have been canceled.
Emerald Waterways has canceled all sailings through the end of May.
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. In addition, the line has canceled all 2021 sailings to Alaska that begin or end in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Jalesh Cruises has shut down.
MSC Cruises in January resumed sailings out of Italy for Europeans with only one ship, MSC Grandiosa. It was the second time MSC Cruises resumed sailings in Europe. The line previously 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 April.
Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled sailings on all ships through the end of May.
Oceania Cruises has canceled sailings through the end of May.
Paul Gauguin Cruises resumed sailings in French Polynesia on July 11 but recently suspended the trips in the wake of new travel restrictions for French overseas territories. The line now has canceled all sailings through May 15.
Ponant resumed sailings in France, Croatia and Iceland on new itineraries in July but later 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 all sailings worldwide through May 15 and sailings in Japan through June 26. In addition, the line has canceled all 2021 sailings to Alaska and the Pacific Coast that begin or end in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has canceled sailings on all ships through the end of May. In addition, the line has canceled its 2021 world cruise.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, a new startup line affiliated with luxury hotel company Ritz-Carlton, has delayed its inaugural voyage until July 24. The line originally was scheduled to debut in February 2020.
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.
Sail Windjammer has shut down.
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has canceled all sailings through the end of May.
Seabourn has canceled all departures through mid-April as well as a significant number of voyages through the rest of 2021. In addition, the line has canceled all 2021 sailings to Alaska.
Sea Cloud Cruises has canceled sailings into May. The line’s 64-passenger Sea Cloud is now scheduled to resume departures on May 7. The 94-passenger Sea Cloud II is now scheduled to restart on June 2. The line’s new Sea Cloud Spirit is now scheduled to debut on June 2.
SeaDream Yacht Club has canceled all sailings through early May.
Silversea has canceled sailings on all ships through at least the end of April. Most ships now are scheduled to resume operations in May or June with two not due to sail until November. Silver Origin, the line’s new ship in the Galápagos, now is scheduled to begin operations on May 1.
Star Clippers has canceled all sailings through at least early May. Royal Clipper now is scheduled to resume service on May 1 with Star Flyer following on May 22. Star Clipper sailings have been put on hold until Sept. 11.
Tauck has canceled sailings through the end of March.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection plans to resume departures in early May.
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 May.
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 early June. The line’s Wind Spirit is now scheduled to return to service on June 10, followed by Star Breeze and Wind Star on June 19. Wind Surf, Star Legend and Star Pride will return to service on June 29, July 4 and July 14, respectively.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
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Featured image of courtesy of SeaDream Yacht Club
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