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CRUISE UPDATES: What Does Cruising Look Like Post COVID-19?

With an influx of cruise news and updates flooding your inbox, we're bringing you all the latest cruise information you need for a post-COVID-19 world.

With an influx of cruise news and updates flooding your inbox, we’re bringing you all the latest cruise information you need for a post-COVID-19 world.

Not sure where, when, what or how the cruise lines are sailing, due to COVID-19? We’ll be updating this feed, with the need to know deets as news comes to hand, so make sure you check back for the latest cruising info.

Do you have any cruise info or news to add? Please email us at [email protected]

Pause of cruises until end of October 2020

Cruise Update

Princess, Carnival and P&O Cruises have all announced a further pause of its cruise ship operations in Australia until the end of October 2020 due to the continued progression of COVID-19 and related decisions of various government, health authorities, and airlines regarding travel restrictions.

READ: Anchored: Cruise Operations In Australia Paused Until November 2020

Silversea extends ‘Cruise with Confidence’ & double bonus offer

Karry On - Deals of the Week

Silversea Cruises, is extending its Cruise with Confidence program to all voyages departing prior to 30 April 2021. The company credits the initiative for giving travellers the confidence to make future cruise plans with peace of mind. 

Launched in early March, the program provides guests with the flexibility to cancel their cruise for any reason up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit for the amount paid, valid for two years from the date of issue.

Click here for more information.

The cruise line has also extended its Double bonus offer. The offer features a reduced deposit of AU$1,500 per suite for any new booking made before 31 August 2020. Guests who redeem this offer will also receive US$1,000 Shipboard Spending Credit per suite.

The Double Bonus offer applies to all Silversea voyages with the exception of full World Cruises and Grand Voyages. Guests in possession of Future Cruise Credit can also use their credit to take advantage of the offer.

Click here for more information.

Viking is launching new Mekong River ship

Currently under construction, the 80-guest Viking Saigon is scheduled to debut for the 30 August 2021 cruise-tour departure; the river cruise portion of the itinerary sails between Kampong Cham, Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.

“For many of our guests, Vietnam and Cambodia remain top destinations because of their significance in world history,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.

“We have led the river cruise industry with our fleet development and experiences that bring travellers closer to the cultures of the world for more than two decades. This will be the most modern vessel on the Mekong and will feel like ‘home’ to our loyal Viking guests who are familiar with the comfortable design of our ships,” he concluded.

Click here for more information.

Four ships to leave the Holland America Line Fleet in 2020

Holland America Line announced that Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam will be leaving the fleet and transferring to undisclosed buyers. The ships have been sold in pairs, with the S-Class Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August 2020, while the R-Class Amsterdam and Rotterdam will move to another company in Northern Hemisphere fall 2020.

Holland America Line will cancel cruises for the four ships’ deployments, with some select itineraries being assumed by other ships in the fleet. The 2021 Grand World Voyage aboard Amsterdam will be postponed until 2022 and will now sail aboard Zaandam.  The Grand Africa Voyage departing Oct. 10, 2021, aboard Rotterdam will also sail aboard Zaandam on the same dates.

“It’s always difficult to see any ship leave the fleet, especially those that have a long and storied history with our company,” said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “However, Holland America Line has a bright future ahead that includes recent Pinnacle-class additions, with a third sister ship next year that will continue to maintain our overall capacity in the marketplace.”

Hurtigruten’s new health & safety video

Hurtigruten has released a video that showcases the onboard health and safety protocols on all its ships. Just a few minutes long, it covers every aspect of the new health and safety processes in an easy to understand and engaging way, reassuring both agents and guests that safety is, and always has been, Hurtigruten’s top priority.

“Confidence in cruising will be key to the return of a sustainable cruising industry. Any guest watching our new Hurtigruten health and safety video will know that our protocols will keep them, and our crew and staff, as safe as possible. They can feel confident booking and travelling with us,”

Damian Perry, Managing Director Hurtigruten Asia Pacific.

Click here for more information.

Viking’s Risk-Free Guarantee Extended

Karry On - Viking Australia NZ

Viking’s Risk-Free Guarantee has now been extended until 31 July 2020. 

You can help your clients map out their future journeys with confidence, knowing they have the freedom to change their cruise up to 24 hours prior to departure. 

This exclusive offer applies to all new bookings made before 31 July 2020, regardless of departure date. 

Click here for more information.

Celebrity extends global suspension of operations

Karry On - Royal Caribbean

In alignment with CLIA’s recent announcement, Celebrity Cruises will be extending the suspension of global operations for all sailings departing on-or-before 15th September 2020.  

Compensation will include the option of 125% Future Cruise Credit valid until 31/12/21 for use on sailings through  4th May, 2022, the ability to reschedule the same for voyage for next year at the same rate (Lift & Shift) or the choice of a 100% Refund. 

Additionally, guests who have pre-booked any shore excursions, beverage, internet, specialty dining, or other onboard packages, through Celebrity Cruises, have the option of receiving 125% Onboard Credit (OBC) to be used on their next sailing, or they may choose a 100% refund. 

Click here for more information.

Hurtigruten’s new health & safety policy

Deals

The cruise line’s new health and safety policy reflects the centuries-old Norwegian concept of dugnad (duty to the community above oneself), with both crew and guests taking responsibility for the health and safety of everyone on board.

“Guests travelling with Hurtigruten can feel confident that we have the strictest health and safety measures in place,”

Damian Perry, Managing Director Hurtigruten Asia Pacific.

General guidelines include:

  • Maximum 50% capacity on all ships for the 2020 northern hemisphere summer sailings.
  • Wearing a face mask is optional. Masks will be available if a guest chooses to wear them.
  • Guests must respect the capacity restrictions in public areas of the ships. Floor markings will aid with physical distancing.
  • Guests will be expected to observe handwashing protocols including at embarkation and disembarkation, outside all restaurants and on entering public areas.
  • Guests will need to open a cruise account, with touch-free purchases.
  • Self-declaration screening and travel history analysis plus temperature screening will be conducted before embarkation
  • Temperature screening cameras have been installed to test guests temperatures you move around the ship.

Click here for the full health and safety policy.

Holland America cancels itineraries into 2021

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Holland America Line is extending its pause of cruise operations and cancelling additional departures from the port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 2020, as well as select Hawaii itineraries for early 2021.

Those with impacted cruises automatically will be cancelled, and no action is needed for guests opting for the Future Cruise Credit (FCC). If your guests would prefer to get a refund, you’ll need to fill out a Cancellation Preferences form no later than July 15, 2020.

Click here for more information.

NCL Extends Pause in Operations

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, has announced an extension of its previously announced suspension of global cruise voyages to include all voyages embarking between 1 August and 30 September 2020 for its three cruise brands.

The voyage cancellations exclude September Seattle-based Alaska voyages (for NCL only). The Company is also cancelling select voyages through October 2020, including Canada and New England sailings, due to travel and port restrictions.

Click here for more information.

Cunard Extends Pause in Operations

Cunard has announced that it will be further extending the pause in operations. 

For its ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Cunard is cancelling all sailings that were due to depart up to and including 1 November, 2020 and for Queen Elizabeth, departures up to and including the 23 November, 2020.

Cunard will be communicating with all guests, and their travel advisors, who are booked on affected voyages.

Guests who are booked on cancelled voyages will automatically be given a 125% Future Cruise Credit. This can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021 on any voyage that’s on sale at the time of booking.

Click here to watch Cunard President, Simon Palethorpe’s message or click here for more information.

NCL peace of mind protocols

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Norwegian Cruise Line has published the first phase of its health and safety protocols, offering an overview of the enhanced measures Norwegian Cruise Line is taking during these challenging times, including:

  • All new air filtration
  • Enhanced screening protocols
  • Increased sanitation measures
  • Responsible social distancing
  • Enhanced medical resources
  • Extended ship to shore safety

“The safety and security of our guests and crew are at all times our first priority. The latest information regarding our enhanced health and safety measures can be found at www.ncl.com/PeaceOfMind.  Additional details will be made available, as we finalize our plans and resume operations.  We look forward to returning to service and welcoming our guests aboard in the near future.”

Spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line

Click here to find out more.

MSC Cruises extends pause & reconfirms full summer 2021 programme

MSC Cruises has announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operation through to 31 July 2020.

Guests affected by the cancelled cruises up to 31 July, 2020, willl receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for 125% of the value of their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary, through to the end of 2021.

All guests who are currently booked on cruises between August and 31 October 2020 their bookings will now be covered under an extension of the Company’s Flexible Cruise Programme. The programme allows guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021 up to 48-hours prior to the original cruise departure or, for Fly&Cruise packages, up to 96-hours prior to the flight departure.

The cruise line has reconfirmed its full summer programme for 2021, starting in March 2021, which will include two new ships currently under construction and a series of new or enriched itineraries and homeports.

Click here for more information.

Silversea unveils new 2021/2022 itineraries

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Silversea Cruises has unveiled 86 new itineraries for (southern) summer 2021/2022 and opens an exclusive pre-sale to members of its Venetian Society, before opening for general sale on 17 June 2020. 

Departing between October 2021 and April 2022, the new program features voyages in Australia & New Zealand, the Caribbean, South America, Galapagos, the Middle East, and Asia.

Of particular note is an expanded program of close-to-home sailings in our region with the newly-refurbished Silver Shadow joining the flagship Silver Muse as the second Silversea vessel to be based down under.

Click here to read the full story.

Royal Caribbean cancels 2020 Canada & Alaska cruises

Cruise Update

Royal Caribbean has announced that all its 2020 cruises to Canada, New England, and Alaska have been cancelled.

The decision has come after the Government of Canada announced an extended ban on large ships in Canadian waters until the end of October in a move to further contain COVID-19.

“We are working with public health agencies and governments to ensure a safe return to service, and look forward to setting sail from and to these destinations next year.”

Royal Caribbean Spokesman

Hurtigruten’s making 2021 adventures a reality

Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten’s new Book With Confidence campaign, launching today (1 June 2020) includes amazing Norway and Antarctica offers, with free and flexible rebooking policies so guests can book their future travel now, with total confidence.

Click here to read the full story.

Oceania’s ‘Remember the Future’ campaign

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Oceania Cruises has unveiled its new ‘Remember the Future’ print and digital brand campaign.

Premiering in consumer- and trade-facing print publications, as well as digitally and across social mediums, the new branding is emotive, evocative, and tinged with romance.

“We wanted to create something fresh and uplifting while remaining sensitive to the current moods of our guests and the traveling public,”

Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

“Our loyal guests are eagerly booking for 2021 and 2022, and the ‘It’s All Ahead of You’ messaging poignantly underscores the hopefulness and anticipation of future travel and the bright days ahead of us all,” stated Bob Binder, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises.

Socially, travellers and travel advisors should use the hashtag #RememberTheFuture to showcase their upcoming travels and travel dreams.

Click here for more information.

Viking extends pause of operations to 31 August 2020

Viking has extended its temporary pause of operations to 31 August 2020.

Affected agents and their guests will receive an email detailing their options, including the choice of a 125% Future Cruise Voucher, valid on any ocean, river or expedition cruise for 24 months (book-by date, not sail-by date).

Those who choose the 125% Future Cruise Voucher need not take any action – it will be automatically issued to them within 48 hours.

In addition, Viking has also extended its Risk-Free Guarantee to 30 June 2020 – allowing guests to change their plans up to 24 hours before departure.

Click here to watch the video message from Viking’s chairman, Torstein Hagen.

Click here for more information.

Australian Border Force extends cruise ship ban until September 2020

karryon-sydney-harbour

The Australian Border Force has extended the current restriction on cruise ships entering Australian waters for another three months, from 17 June to September 17.

Border Force made an announcement last week, stating any cruise ship capable of carrying more than 100 passengers that has left a foreign port is prohibited from operating in Australia.

Click here for more information.

Silversea supports travel partners

Over the past few weeks, Silversea has been reaching out to agents directly to answer questions, listen to feedback, and discuss new ideas.

Based on their input, Silversea would like to inform you of some important policy updates to help support you, during this challenging time.

The cruise line will now offer:

  • Extended commission protection on voyages cancelled by Silversea
  • Expansion of ‘cruise with confidence’ program
  • Reduced deposit & $1,000 USD onboard spending credit for every booking until 30 June 2020

Click here for more information.

Scenic further suspends operations

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The Scenic Group has announced the suspension of all river and ocean cruises, and land tour operations on its Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises and Evergreen Cruises & Tours brands, from 1 July to 31 August 2020, as part of its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Scenic Eclipse sailings will be suspended through to 30 September 2020.

“Our priority is to ensure that our guests and crew are able to travel safely before we resume operations.”

Rob Voss, COO for The Scenic Group

The Scenic Group is offering booked guests flexible Future Travel Credits valued at 110% of monies paid on any affected river and ocean cruise booking and 100% of monies paid on any affected land tours, including Egypt.

The Scenic Group is also committed to protect travel agent commissions on bookings for suspended cruises, that have been paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Travel Credits.

Click here for more information.

Viking’s new departure: In the Wake of the Vikings

Cruise Update

Viking has unveiled a brand-new departure date for one of its most popular itineraries, the 15-day In the Wake of the Vikings voyage from Bergen, Norway to Montreal, Canada via Iceland and Greenland.

Departing 1 September 2021, the itinerary on Viking Star visits six countries and includes nine guided shore excursions. It is only offered once a year.

The cruise traces the route of Icelandic Viking explorer Leif Eriksson, who discovered continental America some 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

From the Norwegian mercantile city of Bergen, the voyage visits the rustic Shetland Islands in Scotland before sailing to the picturesque Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland.

After crossing the Labrador Sea, the ship calls on ancient Norse settlements at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland before sailing into Saguenay, Quebec City, and cosmopolitan Montreal in Canada.

Click here for more information.

CLIA’s new ‘Cruise Champion’ training program

CLIA - karryon

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is backing YOU GUYS, with a new online course, especially for travel agents.

The training, aptly named Cruise Champion, is an interactive program that takes agent members deeper into the workings of the global cruise sector and offers you the knowledge to become ambassadors for the industry.

Some of the topics Cruise Champion covers include Regulations, Safety, Health, Security, Environmental Protection, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

CLIA travel agent members can access Cruise Champion via the new CLIA Member Hub at www.cruising.org.au.