March 12, 2020
(4:30 p.m. EST) -- Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has suspended its river cruises through June 30, 2020.
"Service is simply a part of our DNA," the Uniworld President and CEO Ellen Bettridge said in a letter sent to cruisers. "It's who we are and one of the reasons that you have entrusted us with your time, your most valuable asset. It is also why we must share difficult news with you today. We have been closely monitoring the world's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and given recent news, we do not believe we can continue to offer the award-winning Uniworld experience you have come to expect and deserve at this time."
Cruisers on canceled sailings may immediately rebook for any time in 2020 or 2021, or they will receive a future cruise credit that can be used during the next 24 months. Those booked on impacted itineraries will be contacted by a Uniworld representative or their travel advisor to go over their options.
The line also updated its cancellation policy; anyone booked on a sailing after June 30, 2020, can cancel up to 14 days prior to their cruise and rebook on any 2020 or 2021 cruise without penalty. Alternatively, they can rebook with one of Uniworld's The Travel Corporation sister companies.
To find out how other cruise lines are handling cancellations, read Cruise Critic's article on flexible policies.
"Beyond service, there is something else a hundred years in travel has taught us: resilience. We know this industry -- which has weathered many difficult times over the last century -- is strong because we're in it together. We all believe in the power of travel; its potential to open borders, connect cultures and drive local economies. Let us not forget that during these next days; we will all be better for it."
Uniworld was the fourth cruise line to announce a temporary cessation of operations in early March, while lines around the world subsequently followed suit.