Cruises: Expert hopeful for 'July' return of holidays
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Cruise holidays could restart in the UK as soon as May, with cruise lines also outlining plans for overseas travel in the future. Here are the latest updates from some major cruise lines around the world.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line has announced all of its cruises will aim to restart in June.
Following the latest update from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, all cruises throughout May are cancelled.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line stated: “We continue to work on plans to resume operations and are encouraged by the focus to expedite vaccine production and distribution which are having a demonstrated impact on improving public health.
“We appreciate the support of all of our guests, employees and trade partners who we know are looking forward to our return.”
Guests can select from a refund credit not or a full refund of the amount paid.
Celebrity Cruises has announced a restart date from June 5.
Celebrity Millennium will sail from St. Maarten as of June 5 and Celebrity Apex will sail from Greece as of June 19.
The cruise line also recently announced a return to UK shores. The Celebrity Silhouette will sail from Southampton as of June 3.
However, passengers must be over 18 years of age and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “We’re delighted to be returning to Southampton after over a year away.
“We are truly committed to the UK market and can’t wait to welcome guests back onboard.
“What could be better than a new luxury ship, ready to take guests on a journey around one of the world’s most beautiful and impressive coastlines? Not only is this extremely significant to us as a business but also to the local tourism industry.”
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line has confirmed call sailings will be cancelled throughout May.
It has outlined plans to restart in June at the earliest.
However, in welcome news to UK travellers, the cruise line has announced a “staycation” cruise around the British Isles this summer.
The Disney Magic cruise ship will set sail on two-night, three-night and four-night round-trips from UK ports including London Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool and Southampton this summer.
Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Cruise Line, said: “Our teams are bringing tremendous ingenuity and fun to these new cruises, tailoring them with care to the times we are living in, yet filling them with everything you’d expect from Disney, from great service and entertainment to immersive dining experiences and magic for the whole family.”
Customers impacted by cancelled sailings who have paid in full will be offered the choice of a cruise credit or a full refund.
Guests who have paid in part will be issued a full refund of the amount paid.
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TUI-owned cruise line Marella has outlined plans to resume some cruises at the end of June 2021.
The cruise line says it will provide more information on future holidays from April 5.
“It is our expectation that the Prime Minister will be giving an update on 5 April, and will then provide more detail about international travel on 12 April,” reads a statement on the company website.
“The first and earliest date for travel, is still 17 May and we will continue to update our website as and when we know more.”
Customers impacted by cancellations will be given the option to change their booking to a later date without charge.
They can also opt for a refund.
MSC Cruises has begun to take bookings for UK sailings starting from May 20.
Sailing from Southampton, cruises are open to all guests – not just those who have been vaccinated.
“We will welcome both vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests,” said managing director Antonio Paradiso.
“All guests will be tested prior to embarkation, while non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of negative test done within 72 hours prior to embarkation.
“Crew in addition to the protocol-mandated test and 14-day quarantine prior to embarkation will also receive weekly testing, in addition to other ongoing health monitoring measures.”
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line has extended its suspension through June 30.
Cruise ships won’t resume until July at the earliest, with bookings now cancelled right through until his date.
Customers impacted by cancellations will automatically receive a refund for the amount paid.
The cruise line says it aims to do this by May 4.
Additionally, customers will also benefit from a 10 percent off coupon which will be valid for one year.
P&O Cruises has cancelled international sailings throughout the summer and is instead turning its focus to domestic sailings.
Cruises onboard Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura have been axed until the end of August 2021, cruises onboard Iona are cancelled until September 19, 2021, and cruises onboard Britannia are suspended until September 24, 2021.
However, P&O Cruises has launched an array of UK itineraries for the summer.
Britannia will offer three and four-night breaks and one six-night holiday running from June 27, 2021, through to September 19, 2021.
Iona offers seven-night itineraries running from August 7, 2021, to September 18, 2021. Prices start from £449 per person for a three-night break on Britannia. Iona’s seven-night maiden voyage starts from £1,199 per person.
Britons hoping to travel will need to be able to prove they have received their COVID-19 vaccination. Travel insurance will also be mandatory.
Princess Cruises has set out a May 15 restart date, however, this varies depending on cruise location.
The cruise line has outlined plans for a short UK cruise itinerary to begin in late summer.
Regular UK cruises are due to resume in late September.
Cruises from Seattle are anticipated to resume June 28, while cruises from the Caribbean, California Coast, Mexico, and the Med are anticipated to begin as of July.
Australia and New Zealand cruises are predicted to restart in June.
However, due to travel restrictions, select Alaska, Canada, New England and Pacific Coast Cruises will not resume until 2022.
Royal Caribbean Group
US sailings remain on hold for Royal Caribbean, however, the cruise line has been working on some alternative sailings.
It has detailed plans to resume some cruises from June, with new homeports including Bermuda, the Bahamas and Cyprus.
Customers impacted by cancelled cruises are able to receive a full refund, a future cruise credit that comes with a 25 percent bonus, or the option to “lift and shift” their holiday to a new date.
Saga Cruises has announced plans to return to sailing with a UK itinerary.
Guests will only be able to sail if they have been fully vaccinated.
The Spirit of Adventure is due to begin sailings from July 26, meanwhile, the Spirit of Discovery will sail from July 27.
Customers who are impacted by cancellations or delays will be contacted by the cruise line to discuss their options.
Virgin Voyages has cancelled cruises through June 30.
Much like many other cruise lines, the Richard Branson-owned cruise line will only be welcoming back those who are vaccinated.
In a statement, Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages, said: “Our goal is to ensure that we’re providing the safest travel experience which means vaccinations for both our crew and passengers.
“The is a step towards the safe return to sailing and is the right decision for Virgin Voyages.
“We’re really encouraged by the latest rollout plans in the May time frame from the new administration, and we know the future is about vaccinations.
“We’re an adult-only cruise line which allows for us to offer a highly controlled, safe environment for everyone on board.
“Our business makes us uniquely set up to do this with testing and vaccine travel requirements.
“There’s a huge pent up demand for travel and Virgin Voyages will be ready to welcome you aboard soon.”
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