Princess Cruises, Viking and Windstar pause operations amid Coronavirus outbreak.
Princess Cruises has announced that it is to pause all cruises for 60 days as a result of the Coronavirus.
The ban covers departures between March 12 to May 10 across the company’s 18 ship fleet.
Cruises that will end in the next five days will continue to the end of the itinerary. Current voyages that are under way and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said: “Princess Cruises is a global holiday 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.”
Viking Cruises also said it was temporarily suspending river and ocean cruises between March 12 and April 30 following the outbreak. The line said it plans to resume operations on May 1, 2020.
In a video and a letter issued to currently booked guests, Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said: “I am sure you recognise that COVID-19 has made travel exceedingly complicated. An increasing number of ports, including Venice, Monte Carlo and Bergen, have temporarily closed to cruise ships; major attractions such as the Vatican and other museums have been closed; and some countries are imposing restrictions on public gatherings and visitors.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Voyages has postponed its launch event in Miami, which was originally planned to take place next week.
In a statement, the company said: “Virgin Voyages has made the decision to postpone our upcoming events in Miami to a later date for a proper launch celebration. We believe delaying the launch celebration is the right thing to do given public sentiment and focus at this time.”
Windstar has also temporarily suspended its operation. The pause begins with cruises embarking on March 14 and includes those through to April 30.
Luxury river line Uniworld has cancelled all European river cruises until April 23 – guests can move their booking to another 2020 or 2021 sailing. For bookings after April 23, guests can now cancel up to 14 days prior to their cruise and rebook on any 2020 or 2021 cruise without penalty or have the option to rebook with our TTC sister brands – from Trafalgar to Insight Vacations – for 2020 to 2021.