Coronavirus: All the cruises cancelled amid global pandemic

Helen Coffey
The Sea Princess cruise liner was on the first leg of a world tour: Getty Images

As the global Covid-19 pandemic ramps up, countries are increasingly issuing travel bans and closing their borders.

Cruise holidays have been badly affected, with many countries no longer allowing ships to dock or passengers to disembark for fear they might further enable the spread of coronavirus.

Here are all the cruise lines that have cancelled itineraries so far.

Viking Cruises

Viking Cruises was the first major cruise line to announce mass cancellations. All its sailings have been suspended until 1 May.

Guests can request a full refund or a voucher for a future Viking cruise, valued at 125 per cent of the original payment.

Saga

Saga, the travel and insurance company for the over-50s, has cancelled all cruises until May 2020.

The brand said its decision was informed by the government’s latest travel advice, which states that people over 70 and those with pre-existing health conditions should avoid cruises after a number of ships around the world were quarantined because of Covid-19 outbreaks onboard.

All cruises are temporarily suspended for six weeks until 1 May. Customers can apply for a full refund or credit for future sailings.

“The health and safety of customers and colleagues is our number one priority,” said a Saga spokesperson.

“We have, therefore, made the decision to temporarily suspend operations of our cruises until 1 May 2020.

“Our customer service teams will be in contact with cruise customers who were due to travel in the next six weeks to offer them either a full refund or a credit for a future departure.”

MSC

MSC Cruises has halted all its new cruise embarkations fleet-wide until 1 May due to the “extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing in connection with the COVID-19 virus.”

Ships that are currently still at sea will conclude their current itineraries to return guests to their disembarkation ports, before also stopping operation.

Guests can transfer 100 per cent of the money paid for their cancelled cruise, plus will receive an additional “generous” credit benefit, to a future cruise of their choice at any point until the end of 2021.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is suspending its global operations for 60 days after two of its ships’ passengers had to be put into quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.

All operations will halt until 11 May.

“It is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world,” Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said in a statement.

Passengers who are on cruises now that are scheduled to finish within the next five days will sail as normal; those on cruises scheduled to end after 17 March can expect itineraries to be cut short.

Customers can transfer all money paid to a future cruise booking instead, which will include “generous future cruise credit”.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line has cancelled all sailings until 10 March; cruises on the Carnival Spirit departing 10 and 20 April; and cruises on the Carnival Rdiance departing 29 April, 9, 21 and 20 May, and 11 June.

Guests who were booked on these voyages and cancelled on or after 6 March 2020 can opt for a full refund or 100 per cent of the cost in future cruise credit, along with $300 or $600 to spend on board (depending on the length of the cruise).

Holland America Line

Due to the continued port closures Holland America Line has made the decision to voluntarily pause all of its cruise operations for 30 days, impacting sailings scheduled to depart until 15 April 2020.

“These are unprecedented times, and while no guests or crew have tested positive for Covid-19 on any of our ships, we must take a leadership position as a global citizen and ensure that we are doing everything we can to help stabilize the situation,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We know this decision will be disappointing and also inconvenience guests currently in transit, and for that we sincerely apologise. All of us at Holland America Line are fully committed to supporting all our guests through this change.”

Norwegian Cruise Line

All NCL cruises are suspended until 12 April. Guests who were booked on suspended cruises with embarkation dates from 13 March-11 April 2020 will automatically receive a 125 per cent or 150 per cent refund (depending on the original cruise date) of their cruise fare in the form of a Future Cruise Credit which can be applied towards any Norwegian Cruise Line voyage until 31 December 2022. Future Cruise Credits will be applied to customers’ accounts by 1 April 2020.

There’s also an extra 20 per cent discount for those who rebook by 10 April 2020 for cruises embarking 1 July to 31 December 2022.

Guests can also apply for a refund to be payable within 90 days.

Royal Caribbean

As of 24 March Royal Caribbean extended its suspension of all cruises worldwide until 12 May 2020, when most ships are expected to commence sailing, apart from cruises impacted by particular port closures: Canadian ports will remain closed until 1 July, while the Port of Singapore will remain closed throughout May 2020.

Royal Caribbean is offering customers whose sailings are affected a 125 per cent Future Cruise Credit to use by 31 December 2021.

Celebrity Cruises

Royal Caribbean’s sister cruise line, Celebrity Cruises, is all suspending all itineraries until 12 May (with sailings to Singapore and Canada postponed until ports reopen).

P&O Cruises

Following the recommendation by the Cruise Lines International Association for cruise lines to voluntarily and temporarily suspend operations for 30 days, P&O Cruises is suspending any new cruises until 11 April 2020.

“We shall be bringing our ships and all guests who are currently sailing back to Southampton and will constantly monitor the situation over the coming weeks,” said the cruise line.

P&O is offering affected passengers a 125 per cent Future Cruise Credit to be used for cruises sailing any time before the end of March 2022 (when booked by 31 December 2021).

Tui/Marella

All Marella cruises are cancelled until at least the 17 April 2020. If you are due to travel on a Marella Discovery cruise, all sailings up to and including 17 April 2020 have been cancelled.

If you are due to travel on a Marella Discovery 2, Dream, Explorer or Explorer 2 cruise, all sailings up to and including 16 April 2020 have been cancelled.

If you are due to travel on a Marella Celebration cruise, all sailings up to and including 30 April 2020 have been cancelled.

“We are contacting customers directly to offer a range of flexible options, prioritising those with the most immediate sailings,” said Tui.

The Scenic Group

The Scenic Group, comprised of Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours and Emerald Cruises, has announced it will temporarily suspend all river cruise operations until 30 April 2020, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Glen Moroney, Scenic Group owner, said: “With the news of increasing virus cases in countries around the world, the health and safety of guests and crew is our primary focus. We will continue to ensure they come first and foremost in all our decisions.”

For guests whose river cruise departures are within this period of suspended operations, the Scenic Group is offering the choice of either a Future Travel Credit valued at 125 per cent of the booking, or the option of a refund to the value of the amount paid. Guests choosing a Future Travel Credit will have up to 24 months to travel on a Scenic Group river cruise.

Disney Cruises

The Walt Disney Company announced that all cruises departing on or after 14 March are suspended until 12 April. All cast members will be paid during the suspension, the company said.

Virgin Voyages

Richard Branson announced he will push back the launch date of Virgin Voyage’s new cruise ship, Scarlet Lady.

The inaugural sailing for the ship, which was also set to be the first for Branson’s new cruise line, was due to happen in April.

In a joint letter with CEO Tom McAlpin, Branson said they had decided to push Scarlet Lady’s maiden voyage back to 7 August.

For those who rebook, the company has promised a 200 per cent future voyage credit while those looking for their money back will receive a full refund plus 25 per cent in future voyage credit.​

Read more

The dirty truth about washing your hands

What is the difference between Covid-19 and the common cold and flu?

Can face masks really protect you against coronavirus or flu?

The UK government’s four stages of fighting coronavirus explained

What are symptoms of coronavirus – and where has it spread?