Skip to content

World cruise cancellations mean itinerary options are likely to stay limited in 2022

Oct. 14, 2021
4 min read
World cruise cancellations mean itinerary options are likely to stay limited in 2022
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.

With the cancellation of MSC Cruises' 2022 117-night world cruise on MSC Poesia, the line becomes the latest on a list of brands scrapping around-the-world voyages due to restrictive COVID-19 rules in many of the ports on which their ships were scheduled to call.

Given the amount of time and money passengers invest to sail on world cruises, the MSC cancellation is news in itself -- especially because the sailing in question was set to depart in less than three months. Other cruise lines, such as Carnival Corporation brands Holland America, Princess, Seabourn and Cunard, canceled their world voyages months ago.

But the bigger issue lies in why the voyages were scrapped.

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

"Unfortunately, there are simply too many international ports of call affected by the ongoing complexities of COVID-19, which has sadly led to this decision," Cunard said in a statement when it canceled its 2022 around-the-world sailings on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria back in June.

"The decision was made after careful consideration and assessment to cancel the 2022 World Cruise, as it would not have been possible to carry it out due to there being too many ports still facing restrictions as a result of the pandemic," MSC said Thursday in its statement.

Port closures in particular don't bode well for cruise lines' expansion of itinerary offerings in at least the early part of next year. Currently, most major cruise lines that have resumed operations have been limited to destinations such as the Mediterranean, the United Kingdom, the Greek Isles, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, Mexico and the U.S., including California and Alaska.

MSC Magnifica (back) docked next to MSC Seaside (front) in Genoa, Italy (Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises)

Looking ahead to 2023, MSC Poesia was already scheduled to complete a world voyage. To make up for the missed one in 2022, MSC is adding a second world cruise on MSC Magnifica. According to the line's statement, this will be the first time any cruise brand has offered two world cruises at the same exact time.

Both cruises are set to depart on Jan. 4, 2023, from Civitavecchia (the port for Rome). They will also make simultaneous stops in Genoa on Jan. 5, Marseille on Jan. 6 and Barcelona on Jan. 7 to pick up embarking passengers before diverging to complete their respective sailings.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Passengers booked on the canceled sailing can either choose a refund or shift to the 2023 voyage on MSC Magnifica, which will sail to the same ports in the same order and on the same dates as MSC Poesia was scheduled to do in 2022. Cruisers who choose the latter option will also be allowed to book a free cruise for departure any time between Jan. 1 and May 3, 2022.

In addition to 25 UNESCO World Heritage sites across five continents, MSC Magnifica's 2023 world sailing is scheduled to visit 43 ports of call in 24 countries, including Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, the Cook Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Oman and Jordan. Many of those are not yet open to U.S. travelers, and a restart for the formerly lucrative Australia and New Zealand cruise market is nowhere in sight.

The cruise went on sale Thursday, with fares starting at $16,029 per person, double occupancy, for an inside cabin. Travelers booking the sailing will receive 15 free shore excursions, a complimentary beverage package and a 30% discount on onboard laundry services.

The already-sold-out 119-night 2023 world voyage on MSC Poesia will include 53 port calls in 33 countries, such as Costa Rica, Australia, Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Jordan, Curaçao, Mexico, Greece and the U.S., including Hawaii.

Prices for that sailing started at $15,750 per person, double occupancy, for an inside cabin.

Featured image by Ivan Sarfatti
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.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more