(Updated 2:00 p.m. EDT) -- Editor's Note: As of April 9, all cruise ships over 250 passengers and crew that operate in U.S. waters have been put under a no-sail order by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The order will remain in place until COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency, and supersedes individual cruise line dates for a return to service. For more information, visit our news story.
Crystal Cruises has announced further suspensions to its ocean sailings, withdrawing all Canada & New England voyages abaord Crystal Serenity due to Transport Canada's recent ban on all cruise ships over 100 people that is in effect until October 31.
"For guests who would like to cruise with Crystal this October through December, we will be introducing a new collection of 7- and 14-night Caribbean escapes aboard Crystal Serenity in the coming week to extend the season earlier in 2020," reads a statement posted on the line's website.
Previously, Crystal had cancelled voyages aboard Crystal Serenity through the ship's August 30, 2020 departure.
On May 27, Crystal announced an the operational pause for Crystal Symphony's voyages, which are cancelled through the end of August.
Crystal will also be suspending operations on its river fleet through the month of July, and sailings on Crystal Esprit through August 2, 2020.
Crystal notes that passengers booked on affected voyages should contact their travel advisor for rebooking options.
Additionally, Crystal has restructured its cancellation policies to provide more flexibility to cruisers.
These include the ability to cancel up to seven days before departure, with the option to receive a 100 percent future cruise credit equal to the value of the voyage that can be redeemed for any ocean, river, yacht or expedition journey departing through the end of 2023.
The line has also instituted new reduced deposits on all voyages through 2023 as part of Crystal's Easy Book Program, with just 15 percent of the total fare required for bookings made up to June 30, 2020. The normal deposit amount is 25 percent of the total fare.
"The Crystal Family, along with the entire travel community, continues to navigate this unprecedented and rapidly evolving global health situation, which has caused uncertainty and unease for travelers around the world," Crystal CEO Tom Wolber said on the line's website during the last round of voyage suspensions. "Our utmost priority continues to be the safety of our guests and crew and, as such, we are closely monitoring recommendations from global health authorities and developments from relevant government authorities including the Administration’s recent announcement of a 30-day air restriction prohibiting many foreign visitors, who have been in Europe over the last two weeks, from entering the U.S."
Passengers on affected cruises are being offered a 100 percent refund of their cruise fares, port charges, taxes and fees paid, and any air and hotel packages booked through Crystal. Or, they may choose to accect a future cruise credit, worth 125 percent of their paid cruise fare, valid on the brands ocean, river, yacht or expedition vessels. The credit must be used by December 31, 2023, but those unable to use it in that time can request a refund of the original crusie fare paid.
Crystal will automatically apply the future cruise credit, but passengers electing a refund will need to visit
in order to request this. Crystal estimates refunds will take at least 90 days from time of initial request.
According to a statement on the Crystal Cruises website: "We will be communicating these changes to our booked guests and their travel advisors directly. On behalf of everyone at Crystal, we thank our guests for their understanding and patience as we navigate this ever-changing situation, and we look forward to welcoming them on a future voyage."
More information on this story will be added here as it becomes available.