Cruise lines have started suspending global operations after President Trump announced a travel ban from Europe lasting 30 days.
Cruises Around the World Suspended
Last night President Trump announced a travel ban from Europe to the United States which goes into effect on Friday at midnight. As a result of the ban and the current situation of the spreading coronavirus, cruise lines have started to suspend operations worldwide. Flights have also been impacted which means cruisers will find it difficult to get to the cruise ship.
So far Princess Cruises and Viking Cruises have announced a suspension to operations around the world impacting thousands of cruise passengers. There could be even more cruise lines doing the same in the coming days.
Princess Cruises Suspension
The cruise line which is owned by Carnival has announced a voluntary 60-day pause of operations that will impact all 18 ships in the fleet. The suspension will impact cruises from March 12 to May 10. This is also aimed at helping to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus which Princess Cruises has been heavily affected by.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said:
“Princess Cruises is a global vacation company that serves more than 50,000 guests daily from 70 countries as part of our diverse business, and it is widely known that we have been managing the implications of COVID-19 on two continents”
“By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, 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.”
The cancellation of cruises around the world won’t immediately begin. Those who are currently on a cruise which will end in the next five days will be able to finish their vacation as normal. Guests booked on the cancelled cruises will be able to get a refund which can be used on a future cruise. Princess Cruises is also offering a future cruise credit which guests can take advantage of onboard.
Viking Cruises Suspension
Viking Cruises is also suspending operations for oceans and river cruises around the world. The halt to operations will be until May 1 and is a result of the travel ban from Europe which President Trump announced yesterday and to help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
In a letter Viking sent out it included:
In recent days we have had an experience where a river cruise guest in Southeast Asia was exposed to COVID-19 while in transit on an international airline. While this guest is not exhibiting symptoms, she has been placed in quarantine. Separately, the remaining 28 guests will also be quarantined.
I am writing today because the situation has now become such that operating as a travel company involves significant risks of quarantines or medical detentions, which could diminish the travel experiences for which our guests have been planning. As a private company with strong finances, we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations – and that flexibility allows us the ability to do what is best for our guests and our employees, as we have always done.
Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations of our river and ocean vessels embarking from March 12 to April 30, 2020 – at which time we believe Viking will be in a better place to provide the experiences our guests expect and deserve. This is a decision we made with a heavy heart, but with present circumstances what they are, we are unable to deliver the high-quality Viking experience for which we are known.
The cancellation of cruises will be from March 12 until April 30, 2020 due to the increasing limitations on travel. The luxury cruise line is offering guests who are booked on the cancelled sailings $125 Future Cruise Voucher, the voucher will have to be used with the next 24 months.
Cruise Industry: Hard Times
There is no doubt it’s a very difficult time for the cruise industry and all travel as a whole. Bookings are down as cruisers are scared due to growing concerns of the coronavirus and quarantines.
Many cruise itineraries have already been impacted over the last couple of weeks with cruise ports denying ships and delays due to COVID-19 tests on board. The cruise industry is also working with the government along with The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The World Health Organization (WHO) to make sure guests and crew remain safe.