As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe the thought of travelling is no longer as appealing as it once was. With hesitations towards travel, multiple cruise lines are now offering customers peace of mind with more flexible booking and cancellation policies.
Silversea Cruises along with the Royal Caribbean Group have implemented a ‘Cruise with Confidence’ initiative which allows all guests to cancel as late as 48 hours prior to sailing. The policy covers both existing and future bookings on cruises departing before 31 July 2020 and will allow guests to receive a full refund in the form of a future cruise credit.
For cruises departing after 31 July until 31 December 2020, guests will be able to receive a full cash refund if they cancel 30-days prior to sailing. If cancellations are made between 30 and 2 days prior to sailing they will receive a future cruise credit refund subject to administrative fees.
Additionally, Silversea will negotiate on guests’ behalf for the same cancellation options on other components of the booking such as air travel, hotels and shore excursions. However, with no control over these third-party suppliers, there will be no guarantees.
Royal Caribbean Group
The Royal Caribbean Group’s ‘Cruise with Confidence’ initiative applies to cruises operated by Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara. Similar to Silversea, guests booked on any cruise departing from now through July 31, 2020, can cancel up to two days prior to sail and receive a future cruise credit valid until December 31, 2021.
“Our previous policy set earlier deadlines for guests to cancel their cruises, and that added unnecessary stress,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO. ‘Trying to guess a month or more in advance where areas of concern about coronavirus might be is challenging for medical experts, much less a family preparing for vacation.”
Norwegian Cruise Line
From March 10, 2020, guests booked on a voyage through September 30, 2020, may cancel up to 48 hours prior to the sailing date and receive a refund in the form of future cruise credit. This Peace of Mind policy applies to all non-chartered sailings, with credit valid until December 31, 2022.
Oceania’s ‘Traveler’s Assurance’ policy allows cancellations up to 48 hours prior to cruise departures for all existing and new bookings for voyages departing from March 10, 2020, through September 30, 2020. Refunds will be given as future cruise credit and must be redeemed within one year of issue on journeys departing no later than December 31, 2022.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
‘Regent Reassurance’ includes voyages embarking March 10 through to September 30, 2020. Passengers who have paid in full prior to April 30 may cancel up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% future cruise credit, which can be applied to any new reservation within one year on sailing between today and December 31, 2022.
Carnival is also providing passengers with more flexibility by allowing them to reschedule any cruise booked between March 6 and May 31, 2020.
Guests booked to depart before March 31 can move a booking to a future date up to three days before sailing. Whereas guests booked on sailings between April 1 and May 31 must move their booking to a future date by March 31, 2020. A future cruise credit will be provided in the amount of the non-refundable cancellation fee and must be used by March 31, 2021.
However, to encourage people not to cancel their trip, anyone who travels between March 13 and May 31 will receive between $100 and $200 in credits, depending on the length of the trip. Credits can be cashed in for drinks, spa treatments and onshore excursions.
Holland America Line
Holland America Line has temporarily changed its cancellation policy and is allowing cruisers to cancel their cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey up to 72 hours before departure through to May 31, 2020. Cancellations for these journeys must be made no later than March 31, 2020, in order to receive a future cruise credit for the amount of the paid fare. The new cruise must be booked by December 31, 2020, and used by December 31, 2021.
Anyone who makes a new booking before April 30, 2020. for itineraries that depart on or before October 15, 2020, can cancel for any reason 30 days before departure and receive a future cruise credit in the amount of any cancellation fees applied.
Holland America is also offering onboard credit (up to $200) to anyone who keeps their booking on departures through May 31, 2020.
Viking’s temporary cancellation policy allows passengers to postpone their ocean or river cruise at any time, up to 24 hours prior to departure, without incurring any cancellation fees. Passengers will receive a voucher for future use which is valid for 24 months and can be transferred to any Viking cruise, either river or ocean. This applies to all guests who booked prior to March 2 and all guests who make a new reservation through April 30, 2020.