Most of the major cruise ship operators have extended their shutdowns in the past couple of weeks, due to COVID-19.
For example, P&O Cruises has said that it’s extending its operational shutdown through 31st July, 2020.
P&O Cruises President, Paul Ludlow (Pictured), explained: “With the current lockdown in place and Government guidelines around the world advising against travel it is necessary to extend the pause in our operations for all sailings up to and including 31st July, 2020. Unfortunately these dates also include the much anticipated ‘Ionafest’ and we are looking to re-schedule that as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, pending more clarity on the longer term impact of Covid-19 and timing on the world’s return to normality, we are considering the evolving advice as well as potential restrictions in ports of call as we look at how and when we phase our ships back into service, ” he said.
As for Cunard, the company’s ‘Queen Mary 2’ and ‘Queen Victoria’ have had all sailing due to depart up to and including 31st July, 2020 cancelled.
The whole of ‘Queen Elizabeth’s’ Alaska season was also cancelled and all departures up to and including 8th September, 2020.
“These are extraordinary times and this global outbreak continues to challenge Cunard and the travel industry as a whole,” said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard. “We would love nothing more than to bring our fleet back in to service, and give our guests the holidays they deserve and long for, but with the lockdowns and travel restrictions in place around the world, this is simply not possible at this time.”
Holland America Line (HAL) has cancelled all sailings scheduled to depart through 30th June, 2020.
These include Alaska, Canada/New England and European cruises.
The company blamed continued port closures, including Canada’s cruise ship suspension until 1st July and other travel restrictions resulting from global health concerns,
On its Alaska schedule, HAL has cancelled all sailings this summer on ‘Maasdam’, ‘Noordam’, ‘Oosterdam’, ‘Volendam’ and ‘Westerdam’. In addition, all land/sea journeys were cancelled, which combine an HAL Alaskan cruise with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon.
HAL also said that it was assessing the future impact of the order by the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) for cruises through mid-July.
Princess Cruises has also cancelled all voyages through 30th June, 2020, citing the COVID-19 global outbreak and the recent CDC order.
The cruise line had previously announced a voluntary pause for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing 12th March to 10th May, 2020.
In addition, Princess said it was cancelling all Alaska Gulf cruise and cruise tours. The five wilderness lodges, trains and buses operated by Princess in Alaska will also not open this summer.
However, the company plans to continue round-trip sailings from Seattle to Alaska on ‘Emerald Princess’ and ‘Ruby Princess’.
As for Carnival Cruise Line (CCL), it has said it is extending its North American operations shutdown and has plans to resume sailings on 27th June, 2020.
CCL said it will use this extended pause to continue to take care of the crew that remain on board and bring non-essential crew home.
Royal Caribbean (RCL) has announced it has extended its sailings suspension for the whole fleet through 11th June, 2020.
The company said it plans to return to service on 12th June, 2020, with some exceptions, which include Alaska and Canada/New England cruises, where the company expects to begin operating on 1st July, 2020.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has announced an extension of its global cruise suspension to include voyages embarking between 11th May and 30th June, 2020 for its three cruise brands.
The company said that it will continue to work in tandem with the CDC, the US Federal government and global public health authorities to take all necessary precautions to ensure the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited.
Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean Cruises said that it had decided to extend the fleet’s sailings suspension through 11th June, 2020.
Meanwhile, MSC Cruises is still showing a suspension date up to the end of May on its website.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has confirmed that it will be extending its sailings suspension beyond May, 2020.
Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, explained: “At this stage I am not able to confirm a date when we can expect to resume normal operations, as what I don’t want to do is set an expectation and not be able to deliver what we promise.
“What I can say is that we are keeping a very close eye on the latest guidance from the relevant authorities, including the UK Government and Public Health England, as well as overseas policies,” he said.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines also said that it will assess all forthcoming cruises from 23rd May in date order.
The first five sailings on board its European river cruise ship, ‘Brabant’, have also been cancelled.
Finally, Windstar has extended its recently announced suspension from May to 30th June, 2020.
The company said that it intends to start operating cruises on board its yachts and small ships again in July.