As of March 13th, cruising came to a halt when all major cruise lines announced that they would be temporarily suspending cruising due to the global concern of COVID-19. To help cruisers stay informed, we have put together this list of when all the major cruise lines are expected to resume service. We will update this post as more information becomes available and/or any changes are made to this tentative schedule. – LAST UPDATED 4/1/20!
When the Major Cruise Lines are Expected to Resume Service
Carnival Cruise Line
UPDATED 4/1/20: Carnival Cruise Line just announced that the brand would extend its pause in operations on all North American sailings through May 11th. This highly anticipated announcement was originally expected on Friday; however, the cruise line delayed its decision until Monday. This new resumption date coincides with competitor brand Royal Caribbean International who announced its extended cruise suspension last week.
Today, April 1st, Carnival released an additional statement with a list of additional cancellations. This list now includes all Alaska cruises through June 30th and all San Francisco sailings through the end of 2020. Further, Carnival Radiance sailings through November 1st and Carnival Legend sailings through October 30th have also been cancelled.
Carnival is working with guests to address the disruptions to their cruise vacations. As a result of this change, the cruise line is offering two options for guests whose cruises have been cancelled. The first option will be to receive a 100% refund. The second option includes a 100% future cruise credit along with $600 onboard credit per stateroom if a cruise departing by December 31, 2022 is booked by the end of THIS year. This offer applies to cruises of 6+ days in length. Or, guests will receive $300 of OBC for cruises 5 days or less.
Norwegian Cruise Line
UPDATED 3/30/20: As the last of the major brands, Norwegian Cruise Line finally announced this afternoon that the cruise line would be extending its cruise suspension as well. With the likes of Royal Caribbean and Carnival, NCL is also extending this period by 30 days. The current plan is to relaunch global cruise operations as of May 11th.
Norwegian Cruise Line has not released any official information in regards to the Alaska cruise season yet.
Guests who are booked on cancelled cruises will automatically receive 125% future cruise credit that can be used for any new booking until December 31, 2022. This offer is more generous than both Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Additionally, guests will receive a 20% discount if they book a new cruise using the FCC by April 14th. This discount will be automatically applied if the cruise is booked online. For guests who would prefer to receive a 100% refund, they may submit a request online by April 27th.
UPDATED 3/30/20: MSC Cruises released a statement this morning regarding an extension to the brand’s cruise suspension. MSC Cruises announced that it will be continuing its pause on operations fleet-wide until May 29th. This is a 30-day extension to the original suspension.
MSC Cruises is working with all guests to address the impact for sailings booked through these dates. For Caribbean cruises, the line is providing guests with a 125% future cruise credit to be used until the end of 2021. If the FCC is not redeemed by that time, a 100% refund will automatically be issued. If guests prefer the 100% full refund to the original form of payment now, they can fill out the form on the cruise line’s website.
While differentiated on the website, the same options are available for all impacted non-Caribbean cruises as well. Additionally, any taxes, fees, and pre-paid items will automatically be refunded to the original form of payment.
UPDATED 3/24/20: Royal Caribbean was originally scheduled to resume operations on April 11, 2020. However, the cruise line announced today that it will be suspending cruising for an additional 30 days due to the ongoing health crisis. Now, the cruise line is expected to resume service on May 12, 2020. While Voyager of the Seas, which home ports in Asia, is expected to resume sailings in June 2020.
Further, Royal Caribbean states that it does not expect to resume cruising to Alaska and Canada/New England until July 1, 2020. While the Canadian government had already announced these port closures, Royal Caribbean is the first of the brands to officially make this announcement.
Royal Caribbean is working with guests to address the disruptions to their cruise vacations. As a result of this change, Royal Caribbean is automatically providing guests who were impacted by these changes a 125% future cruise credit. This future cruise credit must be applied to a sailing prior to December 31, 2021. All pre-purchased amenities will also be refunded. If you would prefer the 100% refund to your original form of payment, you can request a refund until the end of 2021.
UPDATED 3/24/20: Celebrity Cruises had originally announced that it would suspended all cruise operations until April 11, 2020. However, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. put out a statement today officially extending the cruise suspension by an additional 30 days. Celebrity Cruises has now suspended all operations through May 11, 2020.
Additionally, Celebrity Cruises will suspend Alaska sailings until July 1st due to port closures. Canada/New England sailings departing May 19th, May 28th, and June 16th will be modified due to Canadian restrictions. Guests booked on these sailings will be contacted directly with the new itinerary.
As a result of this change, Celebrity Cruises is automatically providing guests who were impacted by these changes a 125% future cruise credit. This future cruise credit must be applied to a sailing prior to December 31, 2021. If you would prefer the 100% refund to your original form of payment, you can request a refund at any time prior to the expiration of the FCC. Of note, if you have already taken advantage of the Cruise With Confidence policy to cancel your cruise, you will not be eligible to receive the compensation listed above.
UPDATED 3/30/20: In a video message to guests earlier today, Chairman Torstein Hagen discussed several announcements including an extension to the line’s cruise suspension. As the first cruise line to officially cancel cruising a few weeks ago, Viking again sets precedence by now extending this temporary pause of operations through June 30, 2020. Viking is offering a 125% future cruise credit for all impacted cruises. Guests will have 24 months to use this FCC on any Viking river, ocean, or expedition ship. If the voucher expires, guests will automatically receive a 100% refund. If guests want the refund now, they must call Viking or their travel agent by April 6th.
Holland America Line
UPDATED 3/30/20: Following suit from the other cruise lines, Holland America also made the decision to extend its cruise suspension by 30 days on Monday, March 30th. The cruise line has now cancelled all sailings that were scheduled to depart through May 14th. Guests impacted by these cancellations will have the option to receive a 125% future credit in addition to $250 onboard credit or a full refund to the original form of payment. Guests can use the online form to indicate their preferences by June 1st. Holland America is also reimbursing cancellation fees for airfare or other travel arrangements related to the cancelled cruise.
Disney Cruise Line
UPDATED3/30/20: Disney Cruise Line also extended its cruise cancellations in an official announcement made today, March 30th. Disney Cruise Line has decided to extend the suspension of all new departures through April 28, 2020. Guests currently booked on impacted sailings will have the option of a future cruise credit to be used on a new sailing within the next 15 months or a full refund. Guests and travel agents will receive an email from the cruise line outlining details and next steps. Disney Cruise Line has not yet made any changes to its Alaska or European itineraries that are scheduled to begin in May.
UPDATED 3/31/20: Princess Cruises originally reported that it would pause operations on all 18 of the cruise line’s ships for 60 days. This impacts all cruises departing through May 10, 2020. Just announced today, Princess Cruises further extends its pause in operations in Australia until June 15, 2020. This change impacts sailings on Sun Princess, Sea Princess, and Sapphire Princess.
Guests currently booked on cancelled voyages will receive 100% future cruise credit along with additional FCC based on the length of the cruise starting at $50 for 2-6 days, $150 for 7-10 days, and so on. This credit will automatically be applied. However, if guests would prefer the 100% refund to the original form of payment, they will need to fill out the online form. Guests who incur charges for non-refundable expenses not booked with Princess but related to the cruise can view the refund request guide for a list of reimbursable expenses and details on submitting a refund request.
Virgin Voyages made the difficult decision to postpone its inaugural season. Slated for its inaugural voyage on April 1st, Virgin Voyages is now pushing back all sailings on Scarlet Lady. The cruise line is currently planning to begin cruising in July, with August 7th listed as the new date for the maiden voyage.
Guests impacted by these cancellations have the option to receive a complete refund along with a 25% future cruise credit, or they can receive 200% future cruise credit. Cruisers need to let the cruise line know by April 16th which option they elect. In addition, any cruises booked before June 30th using these funds can receive up to $500 of onboad credit based on stateroom category.
Are you planning to cruise right after the major cruise lines are expected to resume service? When do you think cruise lines will actually set sail again? Drop us an anchor below to share your thoughts on how COVID-19 has impacted the cruise industry.