Cruise Lines Update - 11/20/01

November 20, 2001

As a result of September 11 attacks on America, cruise lines are attempting to address a number of issues ranging from security concerns to cancellation issues.
The port of New York has been closed indefinitely by local officials, and many ships have been re-routed to Boston, Philadelphia or Baltimore. For details, call your cruise line information number.
Information on specific flights must be obtained directly from the airlines. Check out The Independent Traveler for up-to-date airline information.
Here's the latest news from the cruise lines:

Latest updates: Princess, Royal Caribbean, Silversea
American Classic Voyages

  • American Classic Voyages Company, which owns and operates cruise lines American Hawaii Cruises, Delta Queen Steamboat, Delta Queen Coastal Voyages and U.S. Lines, filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
    As a result, the company ceased operations for its Hawaii vessels, the Independence and the Patriot, on October 20. In addition, four of the company's five Delta Queen ships -- American Queen, Mississippi Queen, Columbia Queen and Cape May Light -- also halted operations. Delta Queen, the river-going flagship, and a National Historic landmark, will continue to operate on schedule.
    Passengers who have purchased cruises on any of the line's other ships will have to pursue refunds on their own, whether through a travel insurer (provided they bought the insurance at a time when the travel insurance companies were still providing default coverage for the line) or a credit card company.
    Travelers who paid by cash or check will have to get in line with the rest of the line's "creditors" and file a Proof of Claim Form with the Clerk of the Court for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
    American Hawaii Cruises
  • Independence ceased operations on October 20.

    Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Military personnel called to active duty will receive a future cruise credit for the full amount of their cruise, valid on all departures through March 31, 2003. This offer is in effect from September 17 until further notice.
  • Carnival has introduced a special "American Heroes Program" for anyone directly involved in on-site rescue and relief efforts in New York and Washington, D.C. The program offers deeply discounted cruise rates starting at $199 for 3-day cruises; $249 for 4-day cruises; and $399 for 7-day cruises when booked by Dec. 31, 2001. Call 800-794-6225 for more information and request fare code CPH1. A verification letter supplied by worker's employer will be required at the time of reservation.
    Celebrity Cruises
  • Celebrity is redeploying ships originally scheduled to summer in Europe next year. Millennium will replace Mediterranean voyages with 10- and 11-day Caribbean itineraries out of Fort Lauderdale and Mercury, after finishing its winter schedule of South American trips, will reposition to San Diego for Panama Canal voyages before heading to Alaska. The line's newest ship, Constellation, will sail European itineraries as planned.
  • All other cruises are on schedule and normal cancelation policies apply.
    Costa Cruises
  • CostaVictoria will remain in Europe this winter instead of offering her usual schedule of Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale. The ship will return to Fort Lauderdale in fall 2002. Passengers
    presently booked on the canceled CostaVictoria program will be offered protection on the CostaAtlantica.
  • Costa has announced that all itineraries through 2002 have been revised by replacing some ports of call in the eastern Mediterranean with other ports of
    equivalent appeal.
    Cunard Line
  • Cunard is rerouting both Caronia and QE II to Boston. The ships will use Boston as turn-around ports (Caronia heads out for a New England/Canada sailing while QE II heads back across the Atlantic). The cruise line has arranged motor coach transfers to and from New York.
  • Cunard Line announced plans to market Caronia exclusively to a British market beginning in May. The ship will focus on out-of-the-UK voyages throughout Europe -- from the Norwegian fjords to the Mediterranean.
    Delta Queen Coastal Voyages
  • Cape May Light ceased operations on October 20.
    Delta Queen Steamboat Company
  • Three of the company's four river vessels -- American Queen, Mississippi Queen and Columbia Queen -- ceased operations. Delta Queen, the river-going flagship, and a National Historic landmark, will continue to operate on schedule. The company has said it plans to resume sailings next spring on Mississippi Queen; no additional details are available at this time.
    Disney Cruise Line
  • Disney ships are sailing as scheduled and normal cancellation penalties apply.
    Holland America Line
  • Holland America has announced changes to its European schedule: Amsterdam's World Cruise will skip the Middle East, Holy Land and Mediterranean and will instead visit South Africa and South America. Instead of summering in Europe, Amsterdam will head to Seattle for a season of Alaska voyages. Prisendam, set for a June debut, will cruise Northern Europe as scheduled but will replace Mediterranean sailings scheduled in early September with a circumnavigation of Africa. Noordam's summer European schedule will replace all eastern Med. cruises with western Med. sailings from Rome and Barcelona.
  • Other itinerary changes include the replacement of Rotterdam's spring Panama Canal cruises with new Sunfarer cruises from Fort Lauderdale; a series of Mexican Riviera cruises from San Diego will replace Ryndam's South America schedule in fall 2002; and Zaandam will cruise the eastern Caribbean from her new home port of Port Canaveral in the fall.
    Lindblad Expeditions
  • The adventure-oriented cruise line has revised its cancellation policies, making them among the industry’s most generous. For example, passengers who have paid deposits on cruises more than four months from now can cancel and opt for a $250 refund and a $250 certificate for a future cruise or, alternatively, can simply get a travel certificate -- with no expiration date -- worth $750. For close-in cruises, the line is offering full credit, applicable to a future trip.
    Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Fleet changes include the return of the Norway for a second farewell season, with Caribbean sailings beginning in late December. Norwegian Sun will not summer in Europe as planned; instead the ship will remain in the Caribbean.
    Orient Lines
  • Orient Lines announced that SuperStar Aries, which was due to be transferred to Orient in May and renamed Ocean Voyager, will now stay with Star Cruises.
  • Orient Lines has revised the following itineraries: Africa & India has been changed to a 28-day South Africa & the East CruiseTour departing November 21; India & the East has been changed to a 17-day
    Seychelles & the East CruiseTour departing December 2, and an 18-day Isles of the Indian Ocean CruiseTour departing December 1; and Grand Cities of Asia has been changed to a 29-day Mahe to Hong Kong CruiseTour departing December 2. Passengers booked on sailings that have been revised are urged to call their travel agent to confirm conversions.
  • All other sailings are operating on schedule with normal cancellation policy in effect.

    Peter Deilmann

    *The line has revised Deutschland's early 2002 itineraries to replace sailings in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea with African cruises, followed by 3 eastern Mediterranean sailings in March. Sailings from April 2002 forward remain unchanged.

    Princess Cruises
  • Pacific Princess will not sail her scheduled African itineraries this winter and will be withdrawn from service from November through May, followed by her farewell summer season in Bermuda.
  • Other Princess changes include the cancellation of Royal Princess' world cruise, and an extended Mexican Riviera schedule for Sea Princess.
    *A bomb threat received October 5 aboard Golden Princess turned out to be a hoax by one of the it's own employees, who was immediately taken into custody and ushered off the ship.
  • Princess is transferring Regal Princess from Europe to Alaska next summer and moving Sun Princess from the South Pacific to Los Angeles for a series of Mexican Riviera, Hawaii and Panama Canal sailings starting next fall.
    Princess has launched a new insurance program, Princess Travel Care, which includes a voluntary cancellation option. Read the fine print: more traditional reasons for canceling (illness, injury) get a full refund while the I-just-don't-want-to-go variety get just 75 percent coverage -- and that's in future cruise credit, not cash.
    In a jaw-dropping announcement, P&O Princess Cruises has announced its merging with Royal Caribbean. All three lines -- Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity -- will retain distinct and separate, at least for now. The merger is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2002.

    Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
  • Radisson has revised its World Cruise 2002 itinerary aboard Seven Seas Navigator. The ship will avoid the Middle East and head for Seychelles and Madagascar, South Africa and then the Caribbean and South America.
  • Song of Flower, which sails exotic Middle East itineraries, has been pulled from service temporarily. Cruises between October 20 through April 22 have been canceled, with the ship scheduled to resume service on May 2 in Europe.
  • Other RSSC ships are currently operating on schedule and no itinerary changes have been made.
    Renaissance Cruises
  • Renaissance Cruises has halted all operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Passengers who have booked future voyages should contact their travel agents for guidance. Those who paid with a credit card such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express, can apply for refunds via their issuers.

    Royal Caribbean International
  • The line has announced that some ships scheduled for Europe next summer will remain in North America. Rhapsody of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas will spend the summer in the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera, respectively. Brilliance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas will head to Europe as planned, with possible itinerary alterations within the region.
  • Royal Caribbean has canceled the November 24 sailing of Legend of the Seas. The ship will resume its normal sailing schedule on December 7 with a 16-night sailing from Singapore to Sydney. Special credits and discounts are available to guests impacted by these changes.
    In a cost-cutting measure, Royal Caribbean/Celebrity has eliminated 500 jobs, which involve shore side staffers. The line maintains that it is "very healthy," and new ship launches are on schedule.
    Adventure of the Seas called at New York Harbor on November 10. Following a naming ceremony by Mayor Guiliani, the ship will hosted the families and special guests of rescue workers on a two-night cruise.
    *In a jaw-dropping announcement, P&O Princess Cruises has announced its merging with Royal Caribbean. All three lines -- Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity -- will retain distinct and separate, at least for now. The merger is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2002.
    Royal Olympic Cruises
  • Olympia Voyager will not return to Europe; instead the ship will homeport in Houston in February to offer a series of Panama Canal and Caribbean cruises through late March; she will then cruise from Houston on 7-day Tropical Explorer II itineraries, calling in Honduras, Belize and Mexico through April 2003.
    *Major travel insurance companies, including Travel Guard, Travelex and Access America will no longer provide default coverage for Royal Olympic Cruises, while CSA Travel Protection now excludes default insurance for any line.
    Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Seabourn Sun, which is embarking on its “farewell” world cruise next January, will delete a segment that passes through the Red Sea, Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea and head for the Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles and Mauritius instead. Then the ship will head to South Africa before making its way across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
  • Seabourn Spirit is replacing Mediterranean sailings this summer with Alaskan itineraries: the ship will offer 10- and 11-day cruises roundtrip from Vancouver.
  • All other sailings are operating on schedule.

    Silversea Cruises
  • Silver Wind has taken over Silver Cloud's itineraries due to a last-minute engine malfunction aboard Silver Cloud.
  • Silversea has canceled three cruises aboard Silver Wind scheduled to take place October - November, that would have sailed to ports in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Silversea has extended the 15% Advance Payment Bonus (APB) expiration dates on select voyages.
    *Silversea has launched a new "Reassurance Program," which provides a 100% future cruise credit to guests who chose to cancel their cruise for any reason. The
    program is available for new bookings made through
    March 31, 2002 for any voyage commencing on or after April 1, 2002. The price tag? $250 per person when purchased in conjunction with the line's optional travel insurance, $500 per person when purchased alone.
    United States Lines
  • The Patriot ceased operations October 20.
    Viking River Cruises
  • Viking River Cruises is offering uneasy travelers a good incentive to book: until further notice, all passengers making new 2002 reservations are exempt from cancellation penalties if they cancel their trip before January 31, 2002.
    Windstar Cruises
  • Normal cancellation policies remain in effect for all Windstar sailings after September 18, 2001.