Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises announced Tuesday their ships will not sail again until May 12, a month later than the original target date.
A study analyzed the coronavirus outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises have docked their global fleets until May 11, a month later than the date the Miami-based companiesoriginally gave for operation suspension.
Royal Caribbean cited “global public health circumstances” as the reason for the suspension extension in a statement posted on its official Twitter account and on its website.
“We know this is disappointing,” the statement said, referencing the coronavirus pandemic. “Extending our fleet suspension is an incredibly difficult decision to make. However it’s a decision made with the best interest of our guests, crew and staff at heart.”
Celebrity Cruises followed suit Tuesday “given the gravity of the public health crisis confronting the world,” the cruise line announced on Twitter.
“We have decided to extend the suspension of our global cruise operations through May 11th, and suspend our Alaska sailings through July 1st,” Celebrity Cruises said in a statement. Canada New England, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice will also be suspended through July.
When Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises announced their original suspension on March 13, the companies said they expected to return to service on April 11.
The latest cruise news: 77 ill on board on Holland America cruise ship in limbo
Royal Caribbean Cruises has suspended operations through May 11 due to coronavirus.
(Photo: Joe Cavaretta, AP)
The new return to service date is now set for May 12 for most cruises. Due to port closures, Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas will sail again in June while Alaska, Canada and New England sailings are scheduled for July 1.
Royal Caribbean offered passengers booked on affected cancelled cruises a full refund or 125% future cruise credit to use by Dec. 31, 2021. Passengers who have been cancelled twice will receive two 125% future credits.
Celebrity Cruises said that all booked passengers will get a 125% future cruise credit, which they can use until Dec. 31. Booked passengers can also “request a lower value full refund” by the same date.
More than a week after it announced it would suspend operations, cruise lines are still scrambling to get passengers off ships often in the nearest port that will allow them to do so.
As of Tuesday morning, approximately 7.1%, or about 20 of trade organization Cruise Lines International Association’s 277 member ships were still at sea and in the process of wrapping up current voyages.
A new report Tuesday shows at least 77 people on board Holland America’s MS Zaandam cruise ship, including 30 passengers and 47 crew members, have reported “flu-like” symptoms to the ship’s medical center.
Flu symptoms and coronavirus symptoms are similar, so the cruise line “out of an abundance of caution” told passengers to stay in their staterooms on Sunday.
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