(1:52 EST) -- Cruise lines are taking steps to give consumers confidence in making travel plans this summer, at a time when both COVID-19 and Russia's attack on Ukraine are on travelers' minds.
Several lines have extended their temporary consumer "confidence" policies, allowing late and close-to-sailing booking cancellations on bookings through March 31, 2022. Refunds for canceled bookings will be distributed in the form of future cruise credits.
Holland America Line has gone a step further. The week the cruise line announced it will extend the book-by date for its "Flexible Cancellation Plan" to May 31, 2022.
"We want our guests to confidently make their summer cruise vacation plans," said Beth Bodensteiner, Holland America Line’s senior vice president and chief commercial officer. She added that the extension of the "Worry-Free Promise" would give guests "the peace of mind that if they change their plans, they can still take a cruise at a later date."
Here's a look at some cruise line consumer assurance programs, as they currently stand.
Celebrity Cruises extended its "Cruise with Confidence" program for cruises booked on or before March 31, for sailings through September 30, 2022.
Cancellation is allowed up to 48 hours before you sail, with refunds for the full cruise amount in the form of a Future Cruise Credit that is good for one year from your original sailing date.
Holland America Line Extends Cancellation Policy Through May 2022
With this week's extension, Holland America Line passengers booking by May 31, 2022, for itineraries that embark on or before September 30, 2022, may cancel for any reason and receive a Future Cruise Credit minus any cancellation fees that normally would be applied.
Cancellations must be made up to 30 days before departure.
Additionally, final payments for 2022 Europe cruise bookings made on or after March 15, 2022, will be due at 60 days instead of 75 or 90 days before the cruise.
For cruises booked by March 31, 2022 and departing through March 31, 2023, MSC USA's flexible booking policy allows for changes up to 48 hours prior to departure (by 5pm EST).
Guests who opt for cancellation may apply their money to a future cruise on any ship scheduled to embark by March 31, 2023.
The policy does not apply to world cruises and world cruise segments.
Princess Cruises updated its temporary "Book with Confidence" program on March 1. Now, cruisers who cancel bookings made by March 31, 2022, for voyages departing through September 30, 2022, will receive a Future Cruise Credit for their cruise cancellation.
You can use the credit up to one year after the issue date.
Royal Caribbean's "Cruise with Confidence Program" is valid for sailings through September 30, 2022 as long as they are booked by March 31, 2022. Cancellations are allowed up to 48 hours before the sail date.
Cruisers that cancel under the program will get the full paid fare amount, distributed as a Future Cruise Credit that can be used for any sailing that departs within a year of the original cruise sail date.