Disney Cruise Line to suspend operations due to coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020

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Add Disney Cruise Line to the list of cruise operators shutting down for the time being.

Citing the spreading coronavirus outbreak, the cruising arm of Disney late Thursday said it would suspend operations of its four ships through the end of the month.

The shutdown is effective with departures on Saturday. All Disney sailings from that day on through the end of March have been canceled.

Disney also is closing its theme parks worldwide, including those in Florida and California.

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Disney Cruise Line is the fifth cruise operator to suspend operations since President Donald Trump’s address to the nation late Wednesday. Viking announced it was halting operations through the end of April shortly after the President’s address. Princess Cruises, Europe-based Celestyal Cruises and river line Avalon Waterways announced similar shutdowns on Thursday. As we publish this story, Windstar Cruises and AmaWaterways have also announced that they are temporarily pausing all sailings — that makes the sixth and seventh cruise lines to take such action.

Related: The extreme measures cruise lines are taking as coronavirus spreads

In addition, start-up line Virgin Voyages on Thursday said it would delay the inaugural sailing of its first vessel, Scarlet Lady, until Aug. 7. Scarlet Lady had been scheduled to sail its first “sneak-a-peek” voyage with paying passengers out of Miami on March 26, just two weeks from today.

Disney Cruise Line did not mention a reimbursement policy for passengers on canceled sailings. The other lines that have canceled sailings due to a suspension of operations have offered passengers full refunds or vouchers for future cruises that include extra incentives to rebook at a later date.

The cruise line shutdowns come as a growing number of ports around the world close to cruise ship arrivals. Port closures have been particularly widespread in Europe in recent days as cases of the new coronavirus have exploded. Ports in Italy, for instance, stopped accepting cruise tourists this week in the wake of its country-wide lockdown. Ports in Monaco, Spain, Norway and Estonia also have closed to cruise ships.

Cruise lines also have been faced with the fallout from two high-profile outbreaks of the new coronavirus of Princess ships.

TPG will continue to update on major travel-related closures and cancellations.

Additional resources for traveling during the coronavirus outbreak:

Feature image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy


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