3 major cruise lines push back restart all the way to July
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Norwegian Cruise Line just became the first of the world’s big cruise brands to give up on the idea of a June restart to cruising.
The Miami-based cruise operator on Tuesday canceled all departures through the end of June — a move that pushes out its planned restart to at least early July.
Until Tuesday, Norwegian only had canceled sailings through the end of May.
For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter.
Norwegian’s two smaller sister brands, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, also pushed back their restart dates on Tuesday by a month to early July.
Norwegian is the world’s fourth-biggest cruise line by passenger capacity. With Tuesday’s announcement, it becomes the first of the world’s five biggest cruise lines to have halted all sailings until early July.
The world’s three biggest cruise brands — Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises — have canceled all or most cruises through the end of May but not into June.
The world’s fifth-biggest cruise line, Princess Cruises, has canceled some — but not all — sailings through the end of June.
The announcements from Norwegian and its sister brands are a blow to fans of the lines who had hoped their most recently announced restart dates would hold. Many have been optimistic that the recent rollout of COVID vaccines and falling case counts in many parts of the world would allow for at least some of the brands’ cruises to take place in June.
But it’s looking increasingly unlikely that there will be a meaningful amount of cruising in many parts of the world before July at the earliest.
In North America, in particular, cruise lines have been grappling with a road map for a return to cruising issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that lays out a long period of testing and approvals before cruising can resume.
Issued in October as a “framework for conditional sailing” order, the road map includes a testing period for new anti-coronavirus protocols on ships that have yet to begin. After that, cruise operators can apply for what the CDC is calling a Conditional Sailing Certificate in a process that could take an additional 60 days.
Cruise lines also face roadblocks to a return to cruising in the form of the many coronavirus-related travel restrictions that destinations around the world continue to impose.
Cruising has resumed in a limited way over the past nine months in parts of Europe, led by Europe-based lines such as MSC Cruises and TUI Cruises. A handful of ships also have resumed sailings in Asia, including one Royal Caribbean vessel. But, so far, no ocean cruising has resumed in North America on a permanent basis.
In November, one small cruise company, SeaDream Yacht Club, attempted to resume voyages in the Caribbean out of Barbados with a small vessel. But the sailing did not go well. It ended with a COVID-19 outbreak and passengers quarantined in their cabins. The line subsequently canceled all remaining cruises for the winter season.
The only cruise vessels that currently are operating in North America are two small vessels that sail on U.S. rivers and intracoastal waterways. They just resumed service this week.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
- The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
- The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- What to pack for your first cruise
Featured image courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees