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Coronavirus: Cruise lines extend pause in operations

NCL, cruise, Alaska, Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, major cruise lines have announced that they are extending their pause in operations.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Viking have become the latest lines to extend their suspension of cruises.

The parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises will not run any sailings until at least 10 May. The company had originally suspended sailings until 12 April.

Viking, the first cruise line to temporarily suspend operations of its river and ocean cruises, has extended its suspension of operations through 30 June 2020.

Chairman Torstein Hagen said: “We are using this period of non-operation as a time for additional training and initiatives to ensure we have the safest and healthiest fleet in the industry.

“As a private company 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.”

NCLH president and chief executive Frank Del Rio said: “With Covid-19 continuing to have a significant impact on communities throughout the world, we are extending our temporary suspension of cruise voyages across our three brands through May 10th.

“While we understand this disruption may inconvenience our loyal guests and valued travel partners, we are committed first and foremost to protecting the safety, security and well-being of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit.

“We appreciate their continued understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented times and do our part to help global efforts to contain this pandemic.”

Passengers booked to sail between 13 March and 10 May on any of the group’s 28 ships are being asked to contact their travel agent or the individual cruise line for more information.

Seabourn announced on Monday (30 March) that it had extended its suspension of sailings for an additional 30 days, while P&O Cruises and Cunard announced there would now be no sailings until 15 May.

MSC Cruises has further extended the suspension of its departures fleet-wide through to 29 May. Meanwhile, APT Travel Group is suspending the operation of its guided tours and cruises up to and including 31 May.

Our view:

The cruise industry is facing an unprecedented and ever-changing situation, and we are committed to keeping you informed with the most up-to-date news. However, we firmly believe that the cruise industry will bounce back. When it does, we’ll be on hand to help you get back to selling the cruises that people love.  

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