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Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations Because of COVID-19 (2021)
Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations Because of COVID-19 (2021)
Cruise Lines Continue To Cancel Sailings Further Into 2021
Exterior on Wind Spirit

Cruise Lines Continue To Cancel Sailings Further Into 2021

Cruise Lines Continue To Cancel Sailings Further Into 2021
Exterior on Wind Spirit

December 09, 2020

Aaron Saunders
Senior Editor, News and Features
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(Updated 12 p.m. EST) -- Faced with rising COVID-19 infection rates around the world and unclear guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cruise lines have begun to suspend sailings well into the first half of 2021.

Cunard Line was one of the first to push voyages into 2021, with Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth initially slated to come online again between March and May. On December 9, Cunard pushed those dates to and including May 28, 2021 for Queen Mary 2; and June 4, 2021 for Queen Elizabeth.

Also on December 9, Virgin Voyages announced further delays for Scarlet Lady and Valliant Lady, pushing restart dates to May 9 and November 14, 2021, respectively.

On December 2, the three brands within Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings -- Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas -- released new cancellations. Norwegian Cruise Lines has suspended sailings through February 28, 2021, as well as select sailings in March 2021. All cruises on Oceania and Regent have been canceled through March 31, 2021.

That same day, Royal Caribbean announced it would be suspending its global sailings through February 28, 2021. Sailings in Australia are now cancelled through April 2021. Sailings aboard Quantum of the Seas from Singapore and Spectrum of the Seas from China remain as scheduled.

MSC Cruises joined the chorus on December 3, continuing to puase its U.S.-based cruises through February 28, 2021. The move affects three ships -- MSC Seaside in Port Canaveral and MSC Meraviglia and MSC Armonia, both in PortMiami. MSC Cruises resumed service in Europe this summer.

Celebrity Cruises has also suspended all sailings until March 1, 2021. It has additionally cancelled its 2020-2021 South America season, with departures through April 7, 2021.

In Australia, P&O Australia has suspended sailings until at least March 4, 2021, with Pacific Explorer cancelled until March 4 and Pacific Adventure up until April 30, 2021.

On November 23, Disney Cruise Line announced it would suspend all sailings through January 31, 2021. Operations are not expected to restart until February.

Additionally, Star Clippers has extended its pause of its three-ship fleet through mid-April 2021. Royal Clipper is now paused until April 19; Star Clipper until April 3; and Star Flyer will remain paused until April 16, 2021.

SeaDream Yacht Club has also suspended its early 2021 Caribbean season and will not resume service until May 2021, in Europe. The line had a successful transatlantic cruise in November, and attempted to sail out of Barbados, with stringent testing requirements, but suffered a COVID-19 outbreak, which led to the season cancellation.

They are just the latest lines to announce sailing suspensions well into 2021 as a result of the ongoing global health pandemic.


On November 20, Princess and Holland America Line both announced they would cancel all cruises until the end of March 2021 in order "to allow time for the estimated preparation needed for completing required activities prior to sailing". Select longer Holland America sailings in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South America are additionally suspended through mid-April 2021.

Both lines also noted they would follow sister brand Carnival in not selling any cruises more than seven days in length, in keeping to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) new guidance. Princess has also paused its operations in Japan until June 25.

Additionally, on November 20, Seabourn announced cancellations to select voyages aboard Seabourn Odyssey through November 5, 2021, excluding seven-day voyages in Alaska and British Columbia, which are still on-track at this time.

Sailings aboard Seabourn Quest with a U.S. port of call have been cancelled from July 22 to November 6, 2021.

On November 19, Viking announced it would suspend all river and ocean sailings through January 31, 2021. Viking notes that it has " also cancelled additional sailings further into 2021 because of regional complexities", without specifying what those sailings were.

On November 13, Windstar Cruises announced it was postponing its global sailing operations further, canceling all voyages in January, February and much of March 2021.

The boutique small-ship cruise operator's first voyage will be the March 25, 2021 sailing aboard Wind Spirit in Tahiti. The remainder of the fleet will re-enter service between March 27 and April 24, with Star Pride not returning to service until its July 6, 2021 voyage to Northern Europe.

Windstar's suspension follow luxury operator Silversea's decision Wednesday to quietly cancel its own spring sailings, some of which are postponed into June 2021.

Seabourn has also cancelled sailings into 2021, with all vessels except Seabourn Odyssey delaying restart until April, May and June.

Crystal Cruises has pushed back its voyages aboard its oceangoing fleet, Cystal Esprit, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, into March and April of 2021.

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U.K. operator Fred. Olsen has suspended into the spring as well, with the majority of the fleet restarting in March and April. The line has stated, however, it hopes to restart voyages aboard Balmoral sooner; the first available voyage on that ship is scheduled for February 2 from Southampton.

Meanwhile, in Australia, operators including Azamara and Celebrity have canceled their entire 2020-2021 seasons, while other lines, including Carnival, have significantly postponed their return to service Down Under.

Carnival announced earlier this week that Carnival Splendor would not return to service until March, while fleetmate Carnival Spirit is postponed until June.

Royal Caribbean has also canceled its voyages in Australia through April 30, 2021.

Cruise Critic will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

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