Princess, Disney Join Carnival in Massive Cruise Cancellations

Caribbean News…
13 March 2020 5:21am
cruise lines

Princess Cruises announced that it is suspending its global operations for 60 days amid the coronavirus pandemic that has already forced two of its ships' passengers into quarantine, according to a news report posted on USA Today.

Prior to this report, earlier today Carnival Cruise Lines has announced the suspension of all trips for a 60-day period as long the ongoing coronavirus outbreak keeps growing on a global scale.

All operations will be suspended March 12 to May 10 according to a statement from the cruise line shared with USA TODAY by spokesperson Negin Kamali.

"It is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world," Jan Swartz president of Princess Cruises, said in the release.

Passengers currently on cruises scheduled to end within the next five days will continue to sail as expected so onward travel arrangements are not disrupted. However, voyages that extend past March 17 will be cut short at a convenient disembarkation location for guests.

Under normal operations, Princess Cruises serves more than 50,000 passengers a day.

All guests affected will be have the option to transfer 100% of money paid to a future cruise of their choosing. To encourage this, Princess will provide additional "generous future cruise credit" to be used for cruise fare or onboard expenses.

People pay for cruises in various ways, including putting a deposit down, Kamali explained in an email to USA TODAY. Regardless of how they have paid, the amount put forward by a guest will be refunded by the line in either cruise credit or cash.

On Thursday, the Walt Disney Company announced they are suspending all new departures starting on March 14. The suspensions will last through March. The company also vowed to pay all cast members during the closure period. 

The Globus family of upscale tours – including Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways – announced Thursday that it was voluntarily suspending travel across all destinations through April 30.

The company also announced a "Peace of Mind" plan for vacations booked during the closure period. Customers can reschedule their vacation in 2020, 2021 or 2022, to any destination or brand without cancellation fees.

"We recognize that travelers are faced with a great deal of uncertainty right now, and we are committed to helping them through this situation," Scott Nisbet, Globus president and CEO said in a statement. 

Viking Cruises announced it is cancelling cruises through April 30, becoming the first major cruise line to take such drastic measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Viking chairman Torstein Hagen wrote in a letter to passengers Wednesday that the company had made the "difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations" for river and ocean cruises beginning Thursday through April 30. 

Guests whose trips will be impacted by the suspension can either request a total refund or a voucher for a future Viking cruise, valued at 125% of the original payment. Travelers are encouraged to contact Viking or their travel agent by March 25.

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