(9:30 a.m. EDT) -- Celestyal Cruises announced Tuesday it will pause operations onboard Celestyal Crystal and Celestyal Olympiabeginning August 28 and August 30, respectively, dropping its planned fall/winter sailings due to continuing changes in global travel restrictions.
Sailings aboard both vessels will resume in March 2022 as scheduled.
Celestyal typically moves to longer-haul source markets in fall and winter -- the main source for the line’s shorter, three- and four-night itineraries. The line says “travelers have been less willing to take the necessary steps to travel this fall and winter, especially for trips of shorter duration and have indicated a clear preference to defer their cruises until 2022.”
“Celestyal continues to draw a large portion of our guests from a number of global source markets that each have their specific preferred travel period, and it became apparent to us that these core markets have become less interested in being inconvenienced by the current and ongoing travel restrictions in place -- particularly for shorter duration trips in the fall and winter,” Celestyal Cruises’ CEO, Chris Theophilides, said.
All passengers booked on canceled sailings between September and December will have the option to receive a full refund or apply their deposits to 2022 or 2023 voyages. A 20 percent bonus will be applied to future sailings for those passengers impacted.
“In the coming months, we look forward to announcing new experiences to be enjoyed by guests in 2022 and beyond,” Theophilides said. “We are already seeing strong booking demand for next year as we set to begin our 2022 operating season in March and are very much looking forward to welcoming our guests back onboard and continue to deliver the unique Celestyal destination focused experience in what looks to be an even more normalized environment.”
As one of the first countries to lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers and those testing negative for COVID-19, cruise lines and cruisers have rushed to lock in itineraries in Greece in recent months.
Celestyal's third ship, Celestyal Experience, will also make its debut next March.