Virgin Voyages cancels cruises until July; Holland America, Princess scrap Canadian cruises


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Virgin Voyages is the latest line to announce new cruise cancellations.

“We remain excited about our future and know that cruise travel will return soon. As we await further engagement from the CDC on the industry restart, we have extended our pause in operations through June 30,” Michelle Estevam, spokesperson for Virgin, said in a statement Tuesday.

Virgin is among a long list of lines that have, once again, pushed back their restart date in U.S. waters as the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s plan for the industry’s safe relaunch evolve.

Last week, Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line announced Wednesday that they have canceled all sailings through May. Disney also canceled some cruises scheduled for August and could cancel others.

“As we continue to refine our protocols and await further technical guidance from the CDC, we are cancelling all sailings departing through May 2021,” Disney said in a statement.

Sailings on the Disney Magic have been canceled through Aug. 10 due to the “likelihood of international borders remaining closed.”

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And because of Canada’s decision to ban cruises until February 2022, the cruise line is evaluating options for its itineraries in Alaska on the Disney Wonder.

The Canadian ban also prompted a flurry of cancellation announcements by several of Carnival’s sister lines, including Holland America, Princess and Seabourn.

Princess said in a statement that it is canceling its seven-day voyages of the Glaciers itineraries between Vancouver, British Columbia and Anchorage (Whittier, Alaska), as well as all Pacific Coastal itineraries that begin or end in Vancouver and Canadian Adventure round-trip sailings from Southampton, England.

Meanwhile, Holland America said it is canceling all cruises that begin or end at a Canadian port. The move affects the following itineraries:

  • Alaska: Multiple cruises from all departure points through September aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Zuiderdam. (That also includes any Land+Sea Journeys connected with canceled Alaska sailings.)

  • Pacific Coastal: Two early October cruises aboard Koningsdam and Oosterdam.

  • Canada/New England: Three Zaandam cruises departing in September.

The Holland America statement added that “at this time, Alaska cruises departing from mid-May and sailing roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, are not being canceled,” and it noted that cruisers who book to sail out of Vancouver will not be permitted to switch to Seattle instead.

Holland America and Princess noted that they were working with the United States and Canadian governments in hopes of salvaging some part of the 2021 cruise season for Alaska and Canada.

Seabourn announced in a statement that it is canceling all 2021 itineraries for Alaska and British Columbia. The moves affects 19 summer cruises on the Seabourn Odyssey.

Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania cancel until June

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., parent to Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, has canceled sailings until June.

“We have extended our voluntary suspension of global cruise voyages across our three brands as we continue to work through our return to service plan to meet the requirements of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Andrea DeMarco, senior vice president of investor relations for Norwegian, said in a statement shared with USA TODAY in February.

Sailings meant to embark on Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas are canceled through May 31.

Guests who are booked on canceled voyages on the three lines are asked to contact their travel adviser or the cruise line for more information.

Royal Caribbean Group cancels cruises into spring

Royal Caribbean Group announced earlier in January that it would cancel more cruises on its cruise lines into the spring, including on subsidiary Azamara, which was sold to a private equity firm, the company announced Tuesday.

The company, which is also parent to flagship Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises, said the cancellations were necessary as Royal Caribbean Group continues to focus on a safe return to cruising.

“As we work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government authorities around the world toward this shared goal, we are extending the suspension of certain sailings for our cruise lines,” Royal Caribbean said in an announcement posted to its website.

The schedule changes for each Royal Caribbean Group cruise line are:

Royal Caribbean International

  • All sailings canceled through April 30, including Spectrum of the Seas from Feb. 16-28

  • Quantum of the Seas, which sails shorter itineraries in Singapore, is excluded from the cancellations

Celebrity Cruises

  • All sailings canceled through April 30

  • Celebrity Apex’s transatlantic cruise, scheduled to depart on May 1, is also canceled.

  • All European and transatlantic cruises on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Constellation scheduled to sail from May through October are also canceled.

Silversea Cruises

Azamara

Royal Caribbean Group added that it continues to work with its Healthy Sail Panel as they plan to welcome passengers back on board.

New cruise ships set to launch in 2021: Celebrity Apex, Odyssey of the Seas

Other Carnival Corp. lines cancel more cruises

Carnival Cruise Line isn’t the only Carnival Corp. Line to have canceled more cruises.

Princess Cruises has announced it will cancel all cruises from U.S. ports through May 14 – more than a year after the industry came to a standstill in the middle of March last year.

Princess itself was impacted by the pandemic early on: two of its ships, the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess, were among the first vessels to quarantine passengers because of coronavirus infections.

Late in 2020, Princess Cruises canceled all itineraries through March 31. The additional cancellations come as the cruise line works on restart plans that will satisfy the CDC’s Framework For Conditional Sailing announced in October.

The further suspension also applies to European cruises scheduled before May 15, Negin Kamali, spokesperson for Princess Cruises, told USA TODAY.

Holland America Line also has canceled all of its departures through April 30 as it prepares to meet the CDC’s guidelines, according to a statement from Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell.

“The line also will cancel all Alaska cruises through mid-May, Alaska departures on three ships through early June, any Land+Sea Journeys connected with canceled Alaska sailings, Mediterranean cruises through early June and Zaandam’s Canada/New England itineraries through August,” Holland America said in the statement.

Another Carnival subsidiary, P&O Cruises Australia, also announced in January cancellations of its New Zealand cruises into April.

“P&O Cruises Australia is extending its rolling pause in operations in New Zealand to departures on and before 25 April, 2021, as the cruise line and the wider industry continue to work with government and public health authorities on the appropriate time to restart sailing,” the company said in a statement provided by spokesperson Lindy Lamme.

The cruise line plans to return to New Zealand in July 2022 for a 150-day season in the area.

“We know that much better days lie ahead and we remain positive about the resumption of cruising. While we’ve paused operations, P&O Cruises together with the wider industry has been using the time wisely to plan for cruising’s return,” Sture Myrmell, president of the cruise line, said in the statement.

Carnival Corp.’s German line, AIDA Cruises, has canceled sailings until March 20.

“The German federal government has extended the lockdown to contain the pandemic until March 2021. Many of AIDA’s cruise destinations have also implemented measures that significantly restrict international holiday travel through early spring,” AIDA said in a statement provided by Frizzell.

As a result, AIDA announced that trips planned from its previously scheduled restart date March 6 through March 19 are canceled.

Costa Cruises, Carnival Corp.’s Italian line, announced in a statement Wednesday that it has pushed back its restart of operations to March 27 with additional cancellations beyond that date.

The date was simply moved back a couple of weeks, according to Frizzell.

Costa Smeralda will depart on March 27 and Costa will incorporate a second ship, Costa Luminosa, on May 2, the cruise line said in the statement.

Apart from Luminosa and Smeralda, itineraries scheduled through May have been canceled.

‘I am ecstatic’: COVID-19 vaccine inspires confidence among cruise passengers, industry

Contributing: Jayme Deerwester

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Virgin Voyages cancels sailings until July

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