Holland America Cancels Three Alaska Cruises

Early August wasn’t the best of times for Holland America Line or its passengers and their travel agents as three Alaska cruises were canceled.

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Early August wasn’t the best of times for Holland America Line or its passengers and their travel agents as three Alaska cruises were canceled.

The Aug. 1 Ryndam cruise was canceled due to an onboard illness, and the Aug. 4 and Aug. 11 departures of the Statendam were canceled by problems with the ship’s electrical generation system.

“We are keenly aware that our guests will be disappointed by this turn of events, and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience,” said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president of marketing and sales.

The Aug. 1 Ryndam cruise was canceled because a number of passengers and crew reported gastrointestinal distress blamed on the Norwalk-like Virus.

The virus was reported on other ships and on land in British Columbia and Alaska this season, but Holland America elected to cancel the cruise.

“The ship was scrubbed top to bottom with a chlorine solution,” said a Holland America spokesman. “We worked closely with Health Canada.”

The company said NLV is most likely spread by person-to-person contact.

A few days after that situation, a diesel generator malfunctioned on the Statendam, causing it to lose power shortly after departure from Vancouver.

“At no time was the ship, its passengers or its crew in any danger,” the company said in a statement.

There was no fire onboard, although some smoke was reported.

The Aug. 4 cruise was canceled so repairs could be made, but they were not completed by Aug. 7, when the company elected to also cancel the Aug. 11 departure.

Guests on all canceled cruises were offered full refunds, plus a future travel credit equal to 25% of the fare paid. Or, the affected passengers could choose a future discount equal to 150% of the cruise fare paid.

Holland America said it would reimburse verifiable costs of transportation to and from Vancouver. The line said travel agent commissions will be protected.

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