Sea Cloud Cancels Caribbean Season, Plans Three Ships in Europe Next Spring

Sea Cloud Spirit during its sea trials
(Photo by Sea Cloud Cruises) The Sea Cloud Spirit, shown at sea trials above, will be among the line's three sailing ships operating in Europe next spring.

Sea Cloud Cruises has cancelled its entire winter sailing program in the Caribbean and two related transatlantic crossings. The line had previously halted all sailings through year's end. The sailing line plans to restart cruising with three tall ships—including the new Sea Cloud Spiritin Europe and the Canary Islands, starting in spring 2021.

"In view of the current development of the COVID-19 pandemic, this necessary step is the only way to give our guests and all our sales partners the peace of mind when planning for future travel," said Daniel Schafer, Sea Cloud's managing director, in a press release.

In the Caribbean

In a press statement, Sea Cloud Cruises said that the past months have shown that immigration regulations can change bilaterally at very short notice due to changes in the infection rates. It also said that almost all the islands in the Caribbean still do not allow ships to enter their territory.

While Sea Cloud Cruises thought a restart of operations was "closer" in recent months, and had developed a detailed hygiene concept for the safe use of the ships under the conditions of the global pandemic, the line's statement said: "However, uncertainties still remain about flight options to the Caribbean, as well as the classification of most of the islands in the region as risk areas by the German Robert Koch Institute."

Sea Cloud carries a sizable number of German guests, in addition to those from North America, where the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also still has a "No Sail Order" in effect for cruises from U.S. ports (including U.S.V.I. and Puerto Rico). 

Bookings Transferrable 

In view of the current uncertainties, “we are cancelling all voyages that involve uncertainty, and instead we are focusing our attention on what we can already reliably plan today," said Schafer.

In addition to paying back deposits, the shipping company is offering its guests the option of transferring those deposits to voyages in the coming year or in 2022, and providing them with a personal onboard beverage credit.

Travel advisors and sales partners will receive an expense allowance for the bookings affected by the cancellation of the Caribbean program. Sea Cloud Cruises said it had made this arrangement at an early stage of the pandemic due to economic concerns of many travel agencies.

Mediterranean and Canary Islands

Sea Cloud Cruises is now concentrating on its spring 2021 voyages in the Mediterranean and around the Canary Islands, those voyages scheduled in its current 2021 main catalogue. But if the global situation hasn't changed by the time those voyages are expected to begin, the Hamburg (Germany)-based company said it's also preparing an alternative timetable that will take into account current E.U. requirements for ocean voyages, for example, with departures and arrivals in the same port.

In addition, the shipping company says that should COVID-19 still give cause for concern in 2021, new or rebooked voyages can be cancelled up to six weeks prior to departure for a full refund, minus a small processing fee of only U.S. $25 per person.

Travel advisors in the U.S. can send any booking request to [email protected] or contact the North American call center at 1-888-732-2568

For more information visit www.seacloud.com.

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