Updated March 21, 2020
The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has all but halted travel around the globe.
Also known as COVID-19, the speed with which the pandemic is unfolding has created an atmosphere of uncertainty, with countries closing their borders and quarantining residents.
For now, cruising is at a virtual standstill, as almost every cruise line has voluntarily suspended operations. Travel is a personal choice, and we encourage cruisers to check for the most recent and relevant updates. Cruise Critic is well-positioned to assist in informing travelers throughout this challenging period -- and when ready, to assist in recovery efforts.
The U.S. Department of State has issued a recommendation regarding cruise travel, and we've been staying on top of the situation, updating our stories with that information along with cruise line responses and changes to cancellation policies, and affected ports and cruise ships.
Read on for a wrap-up of how the virus is affecting cruise, ways you can protect yourself, and tools and resources for staying abreast of this fast-developing situation.
How will it affect cruise planning?
Cruise Lines International Association announced its member lines have suspended operations from the United States from March 14 until about April 12, although this date varies by line; Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, which includes Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Azamara and Silversea, extended their resumption date to May 11. Some CLIA member lines have temporarily halted all cruise departures, and some non-member lines have also paused sailings in the short term.
How are cruise lines changing their cancellation policies?
Because the situation is evolving, many cruise lines have adopted more flexible cancellation policies, allowing passengers to cancel cruises in some cases up to 48 hours before scheduled departure.
To find out how cruise lines are handling cancellations, read Cruise Critic's article on flexible policies.
How are cruise ports reacting?
While some ports around the world are still open to cruisers and allowing cruise ships to visit, at least 45 have temporarily closed to cruise traffic. Additionally, other ports are denying visitors from select countries or turning ships away on a case-by-case basis.
Read the latest information on which ports are open and which are closed.
Where can I learn more?
Cruise Critic answers frequently asked questions about what cruisers need to know.
Additionally, Here’s a roundup of resources for learning more about COVID-19:
World Health Organization
By region and country:
Department of Health