Rough seas

Cruise firms extend cancelations into May

No cruises until June: Aida Cruises extends the suspension of its entire programme.
AIDA Cruises
No cruises until June: Aida Cruises extends the suspension of its entire programme.

Cruise operators are starting to cancel sailings in May due to worldwide Covid-19 travel restrictions, going beyond German package tour operators who have so far cancelled all holidays until the end of April.

The largest German ocean cruise company, Aida Cruises, has extended the suspension of its entire programme until May 31 from the former date of April 30. The Carnival Corporation subsidiary explained that a normalisation of travel cannot be expected by the end of May due to restrictions in destinations worldwide.

Aida customers who accept a credit instead of repayment will gain a 10% bonus on top of the price they paid. They can then use the total credit for a new holiday up to December 31, 2020. Customers who do not want to accept a credit will be repaid in full.

Smaller rival TUI Cruises has so far cancelled all sailings up to April 30. Customers have been offered the option of re-booking free of charge to a later date with a 10% discount on the entire package price. Sister company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has also suspended trips until the same date as has Costa Cruises.

Other international cruise operators are already starting to cancel sailings for longer periods. MSC has extended its suspension of operations until May 29 and is offering customers a credit for the holiday price along with an additional sum that can be spent on board.

Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas have cancelled departures up to May 10 (from the previous date of April 12). Royal Caribbean Cruises (including Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises) currently plans to resume sailings on May 12.

Cunard’s three ships will not sail before May 15. Passengers will automatically receive a credit for 125% of the total value of their booking that can be used for any new sailing up to 31 March 2022 that is booked before 31 December 2021. Alternatively, guests can apply for a 100% cash refund.

Among other operators, Norway’s Hurtigruten has cancelled cruises until May 12, Seabourn until May 14, P & O Cruises until May 15 and Silversea until mid-May.