CruiseWhile operations pause, cruise lines plan for a stronger future

UPDATED: Cruise lines extend suspension of global operations

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NCL is extending suspensions to include voyages for its three brands - Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
NCL is extending suspensions to include voyages for its three brands - Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

MIAMI - The world’s largest cruise companies are extending their suspension of global operations.

[We] will use this time to continue to build additional processes, protocols and resources to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the destinations we serve.– Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Corp.’s North America brands, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MSC Cruises said their sailings won’t restart before at least mid-May due to the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said that its four brands would extend their suspension of operations through 12 May.

The Carnival Corp. cruise lines include Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Seabourn and Cunard.

Carnival Cruise Line said its North America operations would be halted until 11 May. Originally it planned to resume operations on 10 April.

Seabourn said it would extend the pause of global sailings on its five ships for an additional 30 days, to 14 May.

Cunard - operator of luxury cruise ships Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth - has decided to extend the suspension of all voyages  through 15 May.

Holland America Line extended its suspension of global operations through 14 May.

Princess Cruises, another Carnival Corp. brand, had already decided on 12 March  to do a 60-day suspension, affecting voyages through 10 May. Costa said last week that it would not sail until 30 April.

The cruise lines said port closures and global travel restrictions played a big role in the decision to keep their ships idle.

“It is too soon to know exactly how this situation will evolve,” Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said. “But I do know that we, the Cunard team, will commit all our resources, energy and talent to weather this storm and come out stronger than ever for our guests.”

Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings said it would extend its suspension to include voyages embarking between 12 April and 10 May for its three brands -- Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“We appreciate their continued understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented times and do our part to help global efforts to contain this pandemic,” Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said of his customers.

MSC Cruises is extending its fleetwide suspension of operations through 29 May.

While its ships are out of service, Carnival Cruise Line said it “will use this time to continue to build additional processes, protocols and resources to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the destinations we serve.”

The company said that thousands of crew members who remain on its ships are affected.

“We are working diligently to continue to take care of them and get them home where possible,” the company said.

The cruise lines are offering guests full refunds if they decide not to reschedule their sailings. If they do want to cruise at a future date, they will get incentives such as future cruise credits and onboard credits.

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