A year without cruising? Princess becomes first major line to cancel into December

Jul 22, 2020

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.

Say bon voyage to your dreams of cruising in the Caribbean in 2020 — at least on a Princess ship.

The California-based line on Wednesday said Princess vessels that sail in the Caribbean and many other regions wouldn’t sail again until nearly the end of the year.

Citing the “continued progression of COVID-19 and related decisions of various government, health authorities, and airlines regarding travel restrictions,” Princess said it had canceled all departures to the Caribbean, California Coast, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America and Antarctica, Asia and the South Pacific through at least Dec. 15.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.

The 18-ship line also canceled voyages in and out of Australia on Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess through Oct. 31.

Until today, Princess only had canceled sailings on some of the ships into September or October.

“We share in our guests’ disappointment in canceling these cruises,” Princess president Jan Swartz said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise.”

The cancellations come as coronavirus case counts in North America — the biggest market for Princess sailings — soar. The U.S. in recent days has been recording more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases a day — three times the number of just a month ago.

The announcement also comes just days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its “no-sail” order for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters by more than two months. The no-sail order is now in effect through Sept. 30.

Related: How to book a cruise with points and miles 

A Princess Cruises ship. (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)
Princess Cruises operates 18 vessels, most of which now won’t sail again with passengers until at least the middle of December. (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

In extending the order, the CDC suggested there was a danger to allowing cruising to resume while coronavirus remained widespread in society.

“On cruise ships, passengers and crew share spaces that are more crowded than most urban settings,” the CDC said in a statement accompanying the order. “Even when only essential crew are on board, ongoing spread of COVID-19 still occurs. If unrestricted cruise ship passenger operations were permitted to resume, passengers and crew on board would be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection.”

The CDC also said that those who work or travel on cruise ships would put “substantial unnecessary risk” on healthcare workers, port personnel, Customs and Border Protection agents and U.S. Coast Guard staff. The people that cruisers come in contact with after returning home also would be put at unnecessary risk, the agency suggested.

Cruise lines around the world halted departures in March as the coronavirus outbreak grew, and many of the biggest lines including Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line already have canceled all or most sailings through the end of September. But Princess is the first of the majors to cancel a wide swath of sailings into December.

Related: Another cruise line shuts down as COVID’s impact on cruising grows

The Princess cancellations mean that cruising on many Princess ships is essentially done for 2020. After today, only a handful of 2020 voyages on Princess ships based in North America, Asia and South America will remain on the books.

Princess said passengers with bookings on the canceled trips who have paid in full will have the option of a full refund or future cruise credits in the amount of 125% of what they paid.

Passengers who have not yet paid in full can choose between a refund or a credit worth twice the amount of the deposit that they paid.

The credits must be used by May 1, 2022. Requests for refunds must be submitted by Aug. 31.

Related: Why you shouldn’t take a voucher when your cruise is canceled 

While many major lines have pushed back their return to operations until at least October, a few lines are hoping to resume sailings in select areas around the world earlier. Indeed, a handful of lines — mostly river lines — already have restarted sailings in Europe. For now, the trips only are available to local travelers from select European countries.

The restart to some cruising in Europe comes in the wake of a sharp drop in coronavirus case counts across the continent over the past few months. Germany this week has been recording fewer than 600 new confirmed cases a day — a tiny fraction of the number recorded in the U.S.

Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Featured image courtesy of Princess Cruises


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.