Amidst all the cruise cancellations and voluntary suspensions of global cruise operations that occurred beginning on March 13, 2020 due to COVID-19, the Canadian government released a statement regarding cruise ships in Canadian waters. The statement iterated that “the Government of Canada will defer the start of the cruise ship season in Canada, from April 2, 2020, to July 1, 2020, at the earliest. This deferral will apply to cruise ships capable of carrying more than 500 passengers and crew members.”
UPDATE 6/2/20: This ban on cruise ships was further extended on May 29th to state “Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020”.
As many cruisers know, the usual Alaska cruise season is now upon us. So, to help answer all the questions, we have put together this comprehensive post on How the Coronavirus is Impacting the Alaska Cruise Season this year.
We will continue to update this post as more details emerge from the cruise lines. UPDATED 6/2/20!
How the Coronavirus is Impacting the Alaska Cruise Season
Royal Caribbean International
In a press release on March 24th, Royal Caribbean was the first of the cruise lines to address the Alaska cruise season. Royal Caribbean stated that it did not expect to resume cruising to Alaska until July 1, 2020 due to current port closures. The ships impacted by this delay in the Alaska cruise season included Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas.
UPDATE: Royal Caribbean released a long anticipated update to its cruise suspension on May 20th. In this press release, Royal Caribbean further suspended cruising until August 1st. Then, on June 2nd, Royal Caribbean announced that all Canada sailings will be suspended through October 31, 2020, due to the Canadian government’s extended travel ban on cruise ship travel.
Celebrity Cruises also suspended all Alaska sailings initially until July 1st. This impacted Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Solstice, and Celebrity Millennium.
UPDATE: On May 20th, this global pause in operations was further extended until August 1st like sister brand Royal Caribbean. Then, on June 2nd Celebrity Cruises also updated its cancellations to include all 2020 sailings to Canada, New England, and Alaska.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line released an official statement regarding the Alaska cruise season on April 1st. This announcement included the cancellation of all Alaska cruises departing through June 30, 2020 as well as all San Francisco sailings through the remainder of 2020. The Carnival ships impacted by this announcement were the Carnival Miracle and Carnival Spirit.
UPDATE: However, on May 4th, Carnival released an updated statement delaying its start of service until August 1st. Further, all Carnival Spirit Alaska cruises for 2020 have now been cancelled, meaning that Carnival has completely pulled all ships from the region for this season.
Related Post: When the Cruise Lines are Expected to Resume Service
Norwegian Cruise Line
On April 24th, Norwegian Cruise Line officially extended the line’s global pause to now include all voyages through June 30, 2020. The cruise line’s plan is to recommence all operations beginning July 1, 2020.
Further, NCL has cancelled all Alaska sailings on Norwegian Sun through October 18th and will re-position the ship to Port Canaveral, FL. The cruise line still has plans to offer Alaska cruises on Bliss, Joy, and Jewel during the shortened season.
UPDATE: On May 20th, Norwegian Cruise Line also extended the line’s global suspension of cruising from June 30, 2020 to now include all voyages embarking through July 31st. Norwegian Cruise Line has NOT made any announcements yet to reflect the recent update from the Canadian government.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line released a statement on April 6th regarding Vancouver sailings. This update included the cancellation of all Vancouver cruises through the end of June. This impacted the Disney Wonder’s Alaska cruises. Initially, the cruise line was seeking an alternate homeport for the ship but was not been able to do so.
UPDATE: On May 13th, Disney Cruise Line further extended this pause until July 27, 2020. Then, on June 2nd, Disney Cruise Line released a statement cancelling Disney Wonder sailings through September 14, 2020. The cruise line is also evaluating the Disney Magic sailings scheduled to visit Canadian ports this October, but have not made changes to any itineraries at this time.
Holland America Line
Holland America Line released a statement on April 14th regarding the Alaska cruise season. HAL made some pretty drastic cuts to the brand’s Alaska cruises for 2020. All Alaska sailings on Maasdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Volendam, and Westerdam were cancelled. All Alaska Land and Sea Journeys were also cancelled. This initially left two of the brand’s ships scheduled to sail the region, the Eurodam and Koningsdam.
UPDATE: However, on May 6th, Holland America Line released an update cancelling ALL Alaska, Europe, and Canada/New England cruises for the remainder of 2020.
Related Post: Things We Already Miss About Cruising
On April 14th, Princess Cruises also released an updated statement extending its global pause in all cruise operations through June 30th.
Additionally, the cruise line announced significant changes to the Alaska cruise season. The five wilderness lodges, trains, and buses operated by Princess in Alaska will not open this summer. The only cruises planned to sail in Alaska were round-trip sailings from Seattle on Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess with the other 6 ships including Coral, Grand, Pacific, Royal Princess, Star Princess, and Golden Princess being cancelled.
UPDATE: If that announcement wasn’t bad enough, Princess Cruises released an updated statement on May 6th that cancelled ALL Alaska cruises for 2020. Further, all Canada/New England and Europe cruises and cruise tours in 2020 are now cancelled.
Viking Cruises announced an ongoing pause in global operations through June 30, 2020. This new date coincided with the predicted July 1st date from the Canadian government. The first Alaska sailing on Viking Orion was scheduled for July 5, 2020.
UPDATE: However, Viking released a statement on May 28th further delaying the cruise suspension through August 31st. Viking has not made any official statements regarding Alaska, though it appears 2020 sailings to Alaska on Orion are no longer listed on the website.
Additional Cruise Lines
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth was originally scheduled to sail in Alaska this season. However, all 2020 Alaska sailings onboard this ship, including voyages up until September 8, 2020, are now cancelled.
Oceania Regatta is scheduled to sail in Alaska this season with varying itineraries from 7 days to 14 days. Currently, the cruise line has suspended all cruise operations through July 31st. No further updates regarding Alaska have been issued at this time.
Regent Seven Seas also plans to recommence operations as of August 1, 2020. This cruise line had one ship scheduled to sail in Alaska this season, the Regent Seven Seas Mariner. This ship was scheduled to sail 7-day one way itineraries from either Vancouver, BC or Seward, Alaska. No official cancellation notices have been issued yet.
Seabourn Sojourn planned to begin sailing a variety of itineraries in Alaska following the cruise line’s pause in operations which was originally scheduled through June 30, 2020. Although, the cruise line subsequently cancelled all Alaska sailings for this season as of May 6th.
Silversea Silver Muse plans to resume sailing July 16th. This cruise ship is still scheduled to offer one way trips from either Vancouver or Seward, Alaska. No further announcements have been made since the Canadian government’s extension of the cruise ship ban.
Windstar Cruises has cancelled all Alaska and West Coast cruises on Star Breeze in 2020 due to the impact the pandemic has had on Italy where Star Breeze is currently under renovation.
Did you have an Alaska cruise planned for this summer? Was your cruise impacted by these recent updates? Drop us an anchor below to share your thoughts on how the Coronavirus is impacting the Alaska cruise season.