Numerous cruise lines announced Wednesday updates to their Alaska/Canada sailing season as a result of the Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order that closed Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line its pause in operations from U.S. ports has been extended through May 31, 2021.

Holland America Line

As Holland America Line is extending its pause of cruise operations to now include all sailings that depart from or conclude in a Canadian port in 2021. This will include several Alaska, three Canada/New England and two Pacific Coastal cruises in summer and fall of this year. It also includes all Land+Sea Journeys.

At this time, Alaska cruises departing from mid-May and sailing roundtrip from Seattle are not being canceled. Discussions are underway with Canadian and United States government authorities to try to find a path forward to preserve these sailings, HAL said; as more information is known, an announcement will be made. Guests on affected Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys involving a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, gateway may not move to roundtrip Seattle cruises at this time, as these departures are not open for sale pending further announcements. 

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Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

  • Alaska: Cruises through September 2021 to Alaska from all departure ports aboard KoningsdamNieuw AmsterdamNoordam and Zuiderdam; this also includes any Land+Sea Journeys connected with canceled Alaska sailings
  • Pacific Coastal: Two sailings in early October aboard Koningsdam and Oosterdam
  • Canada/New England: Three cruises aboard Zaandam departing in September 2021

All 2022 Alaska and Canada/New England cruises will operate as scheduled. The Canadian Interim Order expires February 28, 2022.   

Holland America Line is notifying guests and their travel advisors of their options. Guests on Alaska and Canada/New England canceled departures that are paid in full automatically will be rebooked on an equivalent cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021—with all cash and FCC funds moved to the new booking. No other action is needed when accepting the rebooked itinerary. Replacement 2022 booking confirmations will be automatically sent within 30 days of this announcement.

Those who have paid in full will be automatically rebooked to the same cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021. Those with bookings not paid in full may elect to be moved to the same cruise type or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021. 

If guests decide not to accept a cruise booking in 2022 by March 31, 2021, they automatically default to receive an FCC of 110 percent of any cash paid on the booking. The minimum FCC is $25, and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid. Guests will retain any other FCC used for the canceled 2021 booking with all FCC amounts moved to their loyalty account for use on a future cruise booking. For all bookings in 2022, standard cancellation policies will apply.  

Due to the fact that there are no equivalent cruises in 2022, Pacific Coastal cruise guests will receive the option for an FCC or full refund.

Guests who prefer a 100 percent refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences Form to indicate their preference no later than March 31, 2021.

The FCC is valid for sailings departing through December 31, 2022. Non-cruise fare purchases—such as shore excursions, air fares, gifts, dining and spa—will be transferred to a new booking or automatically refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services to the original form of payment.

Holland America Line previously paused global cruise operations and canceled all departures on all ships through April 30, 2021, as well as Alaska cruises through mid-May or early June, Mediterranean cruises through early June and Canada/New England itineraries through August.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has found it necessary to cancel the following voyages, as a result of the Canadian government’s recent decision regarding passenger vessels:

  • Alaska seven-day “Voyage of the Glaciers” cruises, sailing between Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier)
  • Pacific Coastals that start or end in Vancouver, B.C.
  • Canadian Adventure sailing roundtrip from Southampton, U.K.

In the meantime, Princess has committed to operating the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge along with McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali and Westmark Fairbanks Hotel this summer and is currently working on vacation land package details that will be announced shortly.

For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage who had paid in full, Princess will automatically rebook them to the same cruise or cruisetour in 2022. No action is required from guests or their travel advisors. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests’ 2021 fare on their 2022 cruise. Once Princess has completed the booking transfer, if the guest would prefer an alternative option, they can choose a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10 percent of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Guests not paid in full will automatically receive a refundable FCC equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10 percent of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25). 

FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing 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 March 31, 2021 or guests who are not paid in full will automatically receive the FCC option.

Princess will transfer the commission earned by our travel advisors from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022. This convenience is in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success. 

Seabourn

Seabourn, as well, is cancelling its 2021 Alaska/British Columbia departures. The cancellation announcement applies to a total of 19 voyages scheduled aboard Seabourn Odyssey in summer 2021 between Vancouver, Canada and Juneau, Alaska, including one Pacific Coast voyage at the end of the season.

Guests with bookings affected by this announcement are being given as much notice as possible to provide them with greater clarity around their travel plans.  

Those with impacted cruise bookings will automatically be cancelled and re-booked to a comparable 2022 voyage at the rate paid plus current amenities. Once Seabourn has completed the booking transfer, if the guest would prefer an alternative option, they can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn to the original form of payment or to be transferred to a new booking.  

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.  

Carnival Extends Pause from U.S. Ports

In addition to the above announcements regarding Canada/Alaska sailings, Carnival Cruise Line has notified booked guests and travel advisors that its pause in operations from U.S. ports has been extended through May 31, 2021.

A date for the return of guest cruising operations from U.S. ports has not yet been determined. Earlier in February, Carnival began providing more flexible options for guests booked into early summer, so that they could cancel their reservation without penalty if they needed or wanted to make other plans.  As it has done throughout the pause, Carnival is providing guests on cruises cancelled today the choice of a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package or a full refund.

This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.

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