Feed on
Posts
Comments

Home

Introduction

In the current situation I’ve created this page to hold the details that I can find regarding the situation regarding cruise lines’ positions over Covid-19. Click here for Blog posts, or click on one of the tabs above for quick links to reviews, etc.

Overall

At the present moment there are no cruises operating out of UK ports, nor (as far as I am aware) are there any fly-cruises operating from UK airports.

Updates:

11 August: P&O have extended their pause, in line with the Government guidelines.

29 July: Updates to the Cruiseline “Pause” section, below.

20 July: Two more updates. First, the UK Government has slightly and subtly updated its guidance on ‘cruise travel’. I’ve done a post about this changed guidance. And secondly, the CDC has extended its ‘No Sail Order’ to US-based cruise lines and ports to the end of September. Most US lines had voluntarily agreed to suspend operations until 15 September, so this new action by the CDC will extend that suspension until 30 September. For now.

11 July: Advice from the EU’s ‘Healthy Gateways’ advisory body on safety guidelines for the resumption of cruising. This is a significant document, and I’ve done a post about it, which can be found here. If implemented when cruising resumes, the proposed measures will have a big impact on cruising.

10 July: UK Government advises against cruise travel. Here’s a link to a post about this.

8 June: NCL announces new health and safety procedures. NCL have announced new health & safety measures once cruising recommences. There are six new or enhanced measures. Most of them are obvious and non-controversial: enhanced screening of passengers (and crew), improvements to air treatment on board ship, possible changes to itineraries to ensure that only ports deemed to be safe (and welcoming) are visited, enhanced medical facilities on board, and increased sanitation measures.

It’s the last one that will raise some eyebrows. There will be ‘responsible social distancing’. NCL say that “guest capacity onboard will be reduced“. Additionally, they say they are “committed to reducing capacity in all public areas throughout the voyage“. This is a biggie, in my view, and could radically change cruising. Firstly, with fewer passengers prices will have to increase; and secondly, it appears that the social function of cruising, surely one of its greatest pleasures, will be much reduced.

Here’s a link to the relevant page on the (US) NCL website.

2 June: P&O ‘pause’ extended until 15 October. The Cunard website is still saying 31 June, but they have added that all Alaska voyages on Queen Elizabeth this year are cancelled. Also I’ve caught up with changes announced on 6 May for Princess and Holland America – they have both cancelled the rest of the summer 2020 sailings, and HAL have said *all* 2020 sailings. And Carnival Cruise Line has a complicated information page here (click on ‘Cancelled Cruises’ for the details) with a variety of dates, extending from 31 June to November.

18 May: Norwegian border closure extended to 20 August. The Norwegian government has extended the closure of their borders to all but their own citizens and those others with work permits until 20 August. This obviously puts a further hole in this summer’s Fjord cruise programmes, for all cruise lines.

7 May: Carnival Cruise Line planning return to service. Note that this is the actual Carnival Cruise Line, not the whole corporation and its other brands/lines, and furthermore it’s only for North America. But Carnival are planning on returning 8 ships to service on 1 August. The ships will be doing doing short-is (4 to 8 day) cruises in the Caribbean from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston. The time between now and then will be spent developing protocols with the CDC. A wider return for the rest of Carnival Cruise Line (another 19 ships) is being aimed for on 1 September.

4 May: ‘Where have all the ships gone?’ – Youtube video by Chris Frame This is a nice video by Chris Frame, author of various books on cruising, covering where the ships are now. I don’t suppose it’s comprehensive, but there are lots of video clips of lots of ships and they’re lovely to see. Enjoy!

30 April: P&O’s Iona still on the way, but ‘Ionafest’ and the maiden cruise cancelled (obvs!) P&O’s MD Paul Ludlow said in an interview Iona’s fitting-out in Germany is still proceeding, but has obviously been delayed. He also confirmed what we already know, that the maiden voyage, scheduled for 14 May, has been cancelled following P&O’s extension of their ‘Pause’ until the end of July. This in turn means that the big naming ceremony, Ionafest, set for 4 July, has also gone.

It seems that they’re waiting to find out when the ship will be delivered. Once they have a firm date they can start talking seriously to the ports in Norway that were due to take Iona during her maiden season, and will hopefully be able to reschedule the maiden voyage and therefore also Ionafest.

28 April: Fred. Olsen ‘Plain Sailing Guarantee’ Fred. Olsen cruises have today announced a ‘Plain Sailing Guarantee’, to offer reassurance to guests with cruises booked in the near future. The Guarantee sets out Fred. Olsen’s revised policies to reflect the changing nature of the travel industry during the current time. They claim that it includes ‘quibble free refunds’, and ‘full flexibility’ if passengers want to transfer to an alternative cruise. Details here.

Cruiseline “Pause”

All of the UK-based cruise lines have announced a ‘Pause’ in their operations due of course to government advice and restrictions in respect of the Covid-19 virus. However, most of the cruise lines have announced dates on which they hope to end the pause; here are the latest dates that have been announced:

  • P&O – 12 November. They have also cancelled the world cruise on Arcadia and the ‘longer voyages’ on Aurora, all due to depart between January and March 2021;
  • Cunard – “into November 2020“;
  • Fred. Olsen – no end-date given (see here for more details on that);
  • NCL – Now suspended until the end of September, with some cruises out of US ports suspended during October. There are no NCL cruises scheduled in Europe until spring 2021;
  • Princess – Cruises out of US ports now suspended until 15 December, but cruises from Australian ports suspended until 31 October. As with NCL, there are no Princess cruises in European waters, either ex-UK or in the Mediterranean, until March 2021;
  • Holland-America: also announced on 6 May: “Holland America extends the pause of ship operations for all 2020 Alaska, Europe, and Canada/New England sailings”.
  • Marella – 31 October, I think;
  • Saga – Cruises on Spirit of Discovery “will return to service on 15 December” – which seems to be a bold statement; while their new ship, Spirit of Adventure, will apparently go ahead with its inaugural cruise on 5 November – here’s a link to a webpage about that; and
  • CMV – have gone out of business as a result of the shutdown.

I’m also assuming that fly-cruises with the likes of Costa and MSC are in practice impossible regardless of those lines’ “pause” situation (I’m assuming they have paused), as it’s currently not possible to fly to the embarkation port.

Possible new guidelines for passengers’ health while cruising

Princess cruises have announced some guidelines as to the measures they will introduce when they are able to re-introduce cruising. Here’s a link to a post in which I detailed them.

My thoughts on the whole issue

I did a whole post a while ago in which I gave my thoughts on when we could expect cruising to restart, and what it might look like when it does. It’s rather long, so I won’t repeat it here, but here’s a link to it.

3 Responses to “Home”

  1. Chris Lord says:

    Thanks for your summary. I would add that Saga appear to have a proposed restart date of 1 June for cruises on Spirit of Discovery.

    I doubt if many, or indeed any, of the proposed re-start dates will be met and although I understand that the cruise lines want to retain customer interest, not to mention the deposits and balances paid, and not be forced into offering refunds, it does feel like a bit of a “con”. It would be more helpful to see something more realistic – possibly early 2021 being proposed as a resumption date. but I doubt if they’ll do that.

    Additionally if they wish to get people back they will need o negotiate with Travel Insurance companies to get Covid 19 covered – even if that becomes an item attracting an extra premium. Without that in place no prospective passenger can comply with the requirement (usually contractually mandatory) to have adequate Insurance cover.

    What interesting times we live in!!!

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks Chris.

      Re the insurance point, I think that will turn out to be a real show-stopper, especially if a post-transition period continuation of the EHICS scheme isn’t agreed. I for one regard insurance as protection against the real disasters – I’m not bothered about £100 here or there for missed ports or delays; for me, insurance is to cover the cost of hospitalisation in, say, the USA, or something else of that scale.

  2. Chris Lord says:

    Tom,

    I notice that Saga Cruises have now amended their start date to 1 July 2020.

Leave a Reply