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Like mainstream ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, expedition and small-ship brands are modifying their operating statuses and cancellation policies to reflect the challenging times posed by the novel coronavirus. It’s important to remember that as small-group vessels, some are still safely operating. Only select fleets are suspending sailings and hope to be back online soon. Until then, here is when each brand is currently scheduled to return to service (if not still cruising), and how they are handling cancellations.
These statuses and policies are often changing, but we will continue updating this article as we are notified of modifications. In the meantime, this is meant to be a helpful overview, and we recommend this page often and verifying with each line for the latest details.
Adventure CanadaAdventure Canada plans to resume service in 2021.
All 2020 voyages have been canceled due to the Canadian government’s advisories against unnecessary travel and international travel, as well as the closure of the Canadian Arctic to cruise travel for the duration of this year.
“We wholeheartedly support these measures,” the line said. “Everyone’s health and well-being must be top priority. This is a very difficult challenge for our clients, staff, crew, partners and the communities we work with. But we know that the steps we all take now allow us to plan for much better outcomes in the future.”
Alaskan Dream CruisesAlaskan Dream Cruises plans to operate its 2020 season as scheduled.
“In 2020, Alaskan Dream will operate five small expedition vessels with capacities ranging from just 12 to 76 guests,” the line said. “Due to our high crew-to-guest ratio, we are uniquely positioned to monitor the health of our guests at embarkation and throughout each expedition. To assist us in this effort, we will be sending out a pre-expedition questionnaire to mitigate potential health risks.”
American Cruise Lines (updated March 24)American Cruise Lines plans to resume service May 1
Passengers scheduled to sail onboard before that time will receive a 125% future cruise credit that can be redeemed on any 2020 or 2021 cruise. Or, passengers can request a 100% refund.
What’s more, American Cruise Lines has revised its cancellation policy. For sailings through Aug. 31, guests may cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full future cruise credit.
Note to AdvisorsAdvisor commissions that could be affected by either Cruise with Comfort or suspended operations will be 100% commission protected for cruise vouchers issued, according to the line. Commissions will be paid based on the original sailing date for any payments made toward commissionable items.
"Our travel advisor partners have appreciated our commission policy in particular, because it compensates them sooner than later for their efforts,” said Susan Shultz, vice president of trade relations. “Plus, Cruise with Comfort has helped advisors sell, because it allows guests the ability to cancel their cruise up to 24 hours before the cruise begins.”
Aurora ExpeditionsAurora Expeditions plans to push its April 2 Patagonia and Chilean Fjords sailing and April 25 Costa Rica and the Panama Canal cruise to 2021. Passengers scheduled to embark on Arctic 2020 cruises will be contacted soon. It is still too soon to advise on the Antarctica 2020/2021 season.
Note to Advisors“We are working around the clock to provide as much assistance as we can to both travel agents and passengers alike in the coming weeks and months,” the line said.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise LineBahamas Paradise Cruise Line plans to resume service April 10.
"We are in communication with all guests booked on a canceled sailing, as well as with our travel advisor partners, who have a variety of options available to them under our recently updated Sail with Ease policy,” the line said.
Guests set to travel in the next 30 days may change to a different departure date for free. Those traveling in more than a month can cancel with no charge, or change to a different cruise and receive up to a $50 onboard credit.
Note to Advisors“We remain deeply dedicated to our valued travel advisor partners and are committed to doing everything we can to help them through this difficult moment,” according to the line. “We will overcome this together, just as we have many other things in the past.”
Celestyal CruisesCelestyal Cruises plans to resume service May 1.
Passengers set to cruise before this date will receive a 120% future cruise credit that must be applied by December 2021. Or, passengers can request a 100% refund.
Celestyal’s cancellation policy has also been updated: Guests booked on sailings through June 30, or those who make reservations through April 30 for 2020 or 2021 travel, can cancel up to seven days before a sailing and receive a full future cruise credit good toward cruises in 2020 or 2021.
Alternatively, if passengers opt to keep their existing travel plans through June 30, they will receive up to about $100 in credit for seven-night cruises. Celestyal is also extending a 15% discount on onboard purchases.
“Celestyal greatly values our travel advisor partners and will protect their full commission on all original fully paid Celestyal Cruise bookings,” the line said. “In addition the company will also award an additional bonus commission to the advisor once the future cruise booking is redeemed by their clients. For any original bookings that are only at the deposit stage and are cancelled without the Peace of Mind Policy, then the commission will not be payable.”
www.celestyalcruises.comCruise & Maritime VoyagesCruise & Maritime Voyages plans to resume service April 25.
Guests affected by cancellations will receive a 125% future cruise credit applicable toward 2020 and 2021 sailings that must be reserved by July 31. Those who transfer bookings will also receive a 20% discount on Onboard Additions beverage packages, a 10% discount on shore excursions and a one-cabin category upgrade. Or, passengers can request a 100% refund.
Hapag-Lloyd CruisesHapag-Lloyd Cruises plans to resume service April 28.
“We very much regret this development and the inconveniences caused to our guests due to the external circumstances, which, as you appreciate, are out of our control,” the line said.
Note to Advisors“In case of further route changes, we will, of course, actively inform all our booked guests and travel agencies.”
www.hl-cruises.comHurtigrutenHurtigruten plans to resume service April 20 for Norwegian coastal cruises and April 29 for global expedition cruises.
The line is supporting free rebooking of canceled sailings, offering affected guests 125% future cruise credit, plus a 10% discount on any future sailing from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021. Also, any departure between April 20 and Sept. 30 may be freely rebooked to voyages from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021.
www.hurtigruten.comLindblad Expeditions - National GeographicLindblad Expeditions - National Geographic is operating as scheduled.
“If we elect to cancel a voyage because we believe it would be irresponsible to go, you will receive a full refund,” according to the line. “We are looking to the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization to provide guidance.”
Otherwise, guests who opt to cancel a 2020 voyage up to 24 hours before sailing will receive a full future cruise credit toward any cruise in 2020 or 2021. This will remain true through June 30.
Note to Advisors“Recognizing that encouraging travel at this point is harder than at most times, and to support travel partners, Lindblad is also offering an incremental $1,000 per person per booking for all new bookings made during that same time period,” the line said.
Lindblad notes that it is up to travel advisors to determine how they would like to use the $1,000, whether for incremental commission, reduction in the price of the trip, to help in offsetting the cost of flights (or air change fees if they are helping a client rebook their travel) or some combination thereof.
“You know your clients and their situation best, so we are putting the power in your hands,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad. “Our guests and travel partners show loyalty to us; we should reciprocate.’”
Ponant and Paul Gauguin CruisesPonant is suspending service until further notice. Subsidiary Paul Gauguin Cruises plans to resume service May 1.
“You will be contacted personally by our employees, who will offer you a future cruise credit, valid over a period of 18 months, to allow you to reschedule your cruise,” according to the lines.
Ponant’s revised cancellation policy allows any new 2020, 2021 and 2022 cruise bookings to be fully refundable up to 90 days after confirmation. For 2020 departures, a full refund or future cruise credit can be received up to 30 days before sailing.
Paul Gauguin’s updated cancellation policy permits guests to cancel March 28, April 11, June and July 2020 sailings for a future cruise credit in “the amount of the cancel fee, less any fees imposed by the airline/hotels” applicable to 2021 cruises, according to the line.
Cancel fees will be amended to 10% (cruise-only fares) for cancellations received 31 days prior to sailing for departures through the July 29 sailing.www.pgcruises.comwww.ponant.comQuark ExpeditionsQuark Expeditions plans to operate as scheduled. Its first Arctic 2020 cruises are scheduled to set sail May 1.
Quark’s updated cancellation policy for 2020 departures allows guests to cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a 100% future cruise credit for the amount of deposits or other partial payments, or 120% future cruise credit if full payment has been made. This applies to Arctic 2020 cruises departing between March 30 and Sept. 30 on the Ocean Adventurer or World Explorer vessels.
www.quarkexpeditions.comSea Cloud CruisesSea Cloud Cruises appears to be operating as scheduled.
“In view of the current concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, the shipping company has further strengthened its already strict preventive measures for health protection onboard both ships,” according to the line. “The well-being of passengers and crew, which includes their health and safety, is the highest priority for Sea Cloud.”
To ensure confidence, the line has modified its cancellation policy so that guests can cancel 2020 cruises booked until May 31 up until one month prior to sailing for no charge.
SeaDream Yacht ClubSeaDream Yacht Club continues to operate SeaDream I in the West Indies as scheduled. SeaDream II is slated for drydock in Lisbon, Portugal, until further notice.
“We are doing our very best to avoid canceling voyages and disappointing guests,” according to the line. “As a small, family-owned company, we thank our loyal guests for their support and understanding during these challenging times."
Should a cruise be canceled, SeaDream will contact guests directly. The line also asks travel advisors to contact the company directly for questions about specific voyages or cancellation options.
www.seadream.comStar ClippersStar Clippers plans to resume ship service per vessel. Star Clipper is set to depart April 12; Star Flyer on May 3 and Royal Clipper on May 12.
“Any passenger affected by this, or with any queries, should contact Star Clippers, or via their travel professional, for clarification,” the line said. “Star Clippers is reviewing sail dates in March/April at this time and will advise passengers booked (via their travel agency) if we are aware of an affect to their ports of call. Summer/Mediterranean sail dates will be reviewed soon.”
www.starclippers.comUnCruise Adventures (updated March 24)UnCruise Adventures is operating as scheduled, except for the following canceled cruises: The March 28 and April 4 Mexico’s Sea of Cortez sailing onboard Safari Endeavour; the March 29 and April 8 and 20 Panama/Costa Rica onboard Safari Voyager; the March 28; April 4, 11, 18 and 25; and May 2 Hawaiian Islands onboard Safari Explorer; and the April 11, 18 and 25 Pacific Northwest sailings onboard Safari Quest. Additionally, the April 18 and May 2 Alaska sailings onboard Wilderness Discoverer; April 11, 18, 25 and May 2 sailings onboard Wilderness Adventurer and April 18 and 25 and May 2 sailings onboard Wilderness Explorer are canceled.
Guests booked on these sailings will receive an email within the next three days about how to proceed with rebooking. Clients with questions about upcoming trips are encouraged to contact their travel advisor or UnCruise sales counselors by calling 888-862-8881 or emailing [email protected]
Victory Cruise Lines (updated March 25)Victory Cruise Lines (VCL) plans to resume service May 17. The line will provide a 125% future cruise credit to guests affected by cancellations. Or,
passengers can request a 100% refund.
Passengers scheduled on cruises after May 15 can cancel up to 30 days prior or up to May 15, whichever comes first. Reservation is subject to standard cancellation penalties, and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount, according to VCL. The certificate is good for travel in 2020 or 2021.
Note to Advisors“VCL thanks its guests, travel agent partners, vendors and team members for their patience and understanding during this rapidly evolving situation," the line said. "The decision to suspend service was a difficult choice, but necessary in response to federal and state mandates.”
Zegrahm ExpeditionsZegrahm Expeditions plans to resume service May 1.
Passengers originally scheduled to sail prior to that time can transfer their funds toward departures being repeated in 2020 or 2021. Or, for trips not being repeated, guest can receive a 125% future cruise credit for 2020, or a 110% future cruise credit for 2021. Alternatively, if decided later, guests can receive a 100% future cruise credit.