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Princess Cruises extends cancellations for nearly two more months

May 12, 2021
4 min read
Princess Cruises ship docked in Grand Turk
Princess Cruises extends cancellations for nearly two more months
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Princess Cruises is the latest line to reign in plans for a summer restart.

The world's fifth-largest cruise line on Wednesday canceled nearly all its departures through Aug. 21, citing uncertainty about whether it would get approval to restart operations in the coming months from government regulators.

Until Wednesday, the 14-ship brand only had canceled sailings across the board through the end of June.

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In making the announcement, Princess on Wednesday said it still hoped to restart Alaska cruises in July in a small way with up to two vessels sailing out of Seattle.

Princess is one of the leaders in Alaska cruising, but it's currently being blocked by sailing in the state by both U.S. and Canadian regulators.

The Alaska cruise season is very short, lasting roughly from May through September, and Princess already has canceled most of its Alaska sailings for the year.

"Princess continues its discussion with various [U.S.] and Canadian government officials to try to preserve a portion of the Alaska 2021 cruise season," the line said in a statement accompanying its announcement.

Like many lines, Princess hasn’t operated a single cruise departure since March of 2020, when the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.

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Cruise lines are struggling to restart operations in many parts of the world due to travel restrictions imposed by various countries, states and local entities.

In the U.S., the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been blocking cruise ships from sailing out of U.S. ports for more than a year in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Last week, the CDC issued new guidelines for a cruising restart in U.S. waters that suggested a concrete path to a cruising comeback. But the guidelines left many cruise executives flummoxed.

“We continue to have constructive discussions with the CDC but still have many questions that remain unanswered," Princess president Jan Swartz said in a statement accompanying Wednesday's announcement. "We are working diligently to resume sailing in the U.S. and meet the CDC guidelines.”

Swartz said the company appreciated the continued patience of customers while it worked to resume sailings.

"We know our guests are just as eager as we are to begin sailing," she said.

Princess's announcement comes as the prospects for a July or even an August restart for cruising out of U.S. ports become dimmer. In recent days, executives at Princess rival Norwegian Cruise Line have said there's now no chance they could restart in July, given the time it will take to prepare vessels for service once regulators approve of a cruising restart.

In addition, Princess sister brand Carnival Cruise Line this week canceled a wide swath of cruises through the end of July.

Still, while a restart of cruising out of U.S. ports in the early- to mid-summer appears increasingly iffy, many lines are moving ahead with plans to restart sailings in the coming months in other parts of the globe -- most notably, the Mediterranean.

In recent weeks, nearly half a dozen major cruise brands including Norwegian and Celebrity Cruises have announced plans to resume Mediterranean sailings out of Piraeus over the next three months.

The restarts include the first Silversea sailings in 15 months, starting on June 18, and the first Seabourn sailings in 16 months, starting on July 3.

The restarts are happening as Greece moves forward aggressively with a plan to reopen widely to tourists in advance of the summer travel season, and other countries around the Mediterranean get closer to broader reopenings to tourists, too.

Several lines including Crystal Cruises, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean also have announced plans to restart Caribbean sailings in the coming months with trips out of non-U.S. ports such as Nassau in the Bahamas.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023