Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, MSC Cruises cancel more sailings

Oct 7, 2020

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It looks like a significant restart to cruising in November is off the table.

Citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, three of the world’s biggest cruise lines — Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises — late Tuesday canceled all or most of their sailings worldwide through the end of November.

The cancellations came just a day after another big cruise operator, Norwegian Cruise Line, canceled all sailings through the end of November. Several other major brands including Princess Cruises, Holland America and Carnival Cruise Line also have canceled all or most November sailings and even some December sailings.

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Until Tuesday, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and MSC Cruises only had canceled a significant portion of their sailings through the end of October, giving cruise fans hope that November could be the month that cruising finally starts to resume in earnest.

A few lines such as MSC Cruises have restarted limited sailings in Europe and a few other places in recent months, but most cruising has been on hold since health authorities declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess, Holland America and Carnival haven’t operated a single departure over the past seven months.

The result of the new cancellations on Tuesday is that there now are no major cruise brands catering to North Americans that haven’t canceled all or most of their sailings through the end of November.

Related: How to book a cruise with points and miles 

Mariner of the Seas
Royal Caribbean has canceled nearly all sailings through Nov. 30. (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

The new cancellations came just hours after the top executive of Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, said he was highly optimistic that cruising in North America would resume by the end of the year. The comments suggest the company is now targeting a December restart to some cruising out of U.S. ports.

In making its cancellation announcement late Tuesday, Royal Caribbean said it was canceling all November sailings except for departures out of Hong Kong.

Celebrity canceled all November departures worldwide. It also canceled all sailings in Australia and Asia scheduled for the coming winter season.

A third brand owned by Royal Caribbean Group, Azamara, late Tuesday said it was canceling all sailings through at least mid-March. The line now plans to resume service starting on March 20, 2021, with a single ship, Azamara Quest. The line’s two other vessels, Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit, won’t resume sailings until April 9 and May 9, respectively, the line said.

Related: One cruise line considers doing away with the buffet forever

MSC Cruises canceled most sailings through the end of November, except for voyages on two vessels that have resumed operations in the Mediterranean.

Also canceling more sailings on Tuesday was Seabourn, a small luxury line. The five-ship brand canceled all remaining departures in 2020 as well as a significant number of voyages in the first half of 2021. All but one of the line’s ships now aren’t scheduled to restart sailing until April or May.

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Featured image courtesy of Royal Caribbean

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