Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, sister brands owned by Carnival Corporation, both extended their "pause" in cruise operations—resulting in cancellation of many voyages.
They cited their ongoing planning and development required to meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order," as well as current travel uncertainties.
Princess extended its pause of cruising through May 14, 2021. This includes Caribbean cruises, California coastal voyages and early season Alaska and Europe cruises.
"We appreciate the patience from our loyal guests and travel advisors as we work to meet the health and safety requirements for our return to service," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, in a press statement. "We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back onboard to create summertime memories."
Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25 percent of the cruise fare paid. To receive the FCC, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor. The FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by May 1, 2022 that sail by December 31, 2022.
Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by February 15, 2021 or guests will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.
Princess said it will protect travel advisor commission on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full as the line recognizes "the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success."
The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Information on Impacted & Cancelled Cruises.
Holland America Update
Sister brand, Holland America Line, extended its pause of cruise operations for all departures through at least April 30, 2021 and some beyond that date. Impacted are voyages for Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coast, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Canada/New England voyages.
Among the cancellations? All Alaska cruises were cancelled through mid-May. Among those are Koningsdam's planned voyages roundtrip from Vancouver, B.C. and Nieuw Amsterdam's and Noordam's cruises, either roundtrip from Vancouver or between Vancouver and Whittier, AK.
Holland America's extension of its cruise "pause" will cancel many additional 2021 departures including some for Noordam, shown above. // Photo by Susan J. Young
Some Alaska voyages were also cancelled through early June including Zuiderdam's roundtrip departures from Vancouver, as well as Eurodam's and Oosterdam's voyages from Seattle.
Also cancelled were any Land+Sea Journeys connected with those canceled Alaska sailings.
In addition, Holland America Line has cancelled Mediterranean cruises through early June; those include Volendam's cruises between Venice and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, and Westerdam's voyages roundtrip from Venice or between Venice and Piraeus (Athens), Greece. Finally, Canada/New England cruises on Zaandam between Boston, MA, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada, have been cancelled through August.
Guests and their travel advisors are being notified of the cancellations and options for FCCs and rebooking. Cruises impacted will automatically be canceled, and no action is needed when guests opt for a Future Cruise Credit.
Consumers who've paid in full will receive 125 percent FCC of the base cruise fare paid. Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of their deposit. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid. FCCs are valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022.
Non-cruise fare purchases—such as shore excursions, gifts, dining and spa—will not be transferred to a new booking and will be refunded to the original form of payment. Other funds, such as air fare paid to Holland America Line, may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.
Alternatively, guests who prefer a 100 percent refund can visit Holland America's Cancellation Preferences Form to indicate their preference no later than February 15, 2021.
Holland America said the above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line.
Both lines had previously paused operations through March 31, 2021.