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The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is affecting cruise travel from sea to inland waterways, but currently canceled voyages are scheduled to resume relatively soon. For now, here is when each river cruise brand is currently slated to return and how each line is dealing with cancellations.
These statuses and policies are often changing, so expect updates to this article as we are notified of modifications. This guide is meant to be a handy snapshot, and we recommend checking this page often and verifying with each line for the latest details. (Check out our resource for ocean cruises here, and expedition and small-ship cruises here.)
AmaWaterwaysAmaWaterways plans to resume European service June 1.
Those guests affected by canceled cruises will receive a 115% future cruise credit applicable to all cruises departing before Dec. 31, 2022. Or passengers can request a 100% refund.
For a limited time, guests with new or existing bookings who buy AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan can purchase AmaWaterways Travel Waiver Plus at $80 per person. For those without the cruise protection plan, the Travel Waiver Plus can be purchased for $175 per person.
Travel Waiver Plus lets guests cancel up to 24 hours prior to sailing. If canceled up to seven days before a trip, passengers will get a future cruise credit covering cancellation penalties with the balance refunded. Or, if canceled six days to 24 hours before, they will receive a full cruise credit redeemable on sailings within two years.
Note to Advisors“The company will fully protect the commission of travel advisors whose clients opt for a Future Cruise Credit, as well as pay an additional 10% commission on the value of the future booking,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “Plus, the company will pay full commission on the fare difference, if applicable. We understand the immediate implications that these unavoidable travel cancellations are having on our valued travel advisors, who have been the foundation of our family-owned-and-operated business. We recognize the important role advisors play in encouraging our guests to rebook; therefore, paying commission now on the canceled arrangements and again on the future bookings seems very much the right thing to do.’”
American Cruise LinesAmerican Cruise Lines plans to resume service April 20.
Guests who were scheduled to sail onboard before that time will get a 125% future cruise credit that can be redeemed on any 2020 or 2021 cruise. Or, passengers can request a 100% refund.
Also, American has updated its cancellation policy. For voyages through Aug. 31, 2020, guests may cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full future cruise credit.
American Queen Steamboat Company (updated on March 25)American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) plans to resume service May 17.
AQSC will provide a 125% future cruise credit to guests affected by cancellations. Or, passengers can request a 100% refund.
As for AQSC’s revised cancellation policy, guests scheduled on cruises after May 15, 2020, can cancel up to 30 days before or up to May 15, whichever comes first. According to the line, “Reservation is subject to standard cancellation penalties and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount.” Certificate is good for travel in 2020 or 2021.
Note to Advisors“AQSC 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.”
Avalon WaterwaysAvalon Waterways plans to resume service July 1.
Guests who were scheduled to sail before that date can freely shift their booking to any Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms or Avalon Waterways) trip or receive a full future credit good from 2020 to 2022. Additionally, affected passengers will get a bonus credit as follows: $50 for Cosmos, Escapes by Globus and Monograms; $100 for Globus; or $200 for Avalon Waterways.
According to the line: “For travel beyond June 30, 2020, we are continuing our policy of waiving cancellation penalties until 30 days prior to departure.”
Note to Advisors “We understand this is a time of hesitation and concern in the world of travel, but we are committed to ensuring our guests and their travel advisors manage through this period with the right options, adequate time and high levels of attention and consideration,” the line said.
CroisiEurope Cruises (updated on March 26)CroisiEurope Cruises plans to resume service May 1.
Guests scheduled on canceled cruises will receive a full future cruise credit.
Also, regarding all new reservations made between March 16 and May 1, for all sail dates until Aug. 31, guests can cancel free of charge up to 30 days prior to embarkation.
Riviera River CruisesRiviera River Cruises plans to resume service April 24.
Guests affected by canceled cruises have the option to change their booking to another 2020 departure. In fact, if they choose another cruise and it's more expensive than the original, Riviera will waive any extra costs. Or, passengers can transfer their reservation to a 2021 departure up to Nov. 30. Similarly, if the selected sailing is more expensive than the cost already paid, Riviera will waive up to $200 per person in extra costs. Alternatively, those needing more time to decide can receive a full future cruise credit padded with an extra $200 good toward any departure up to Nov. 30, 2021.
Additionally, for departures starting from April 24, 2020, guests can temporarily decide to cancel and transfer their reservation to any date through Nov. 30, 2021, up to 24 hours before sailing at no added cost. All new bookings for 2020 and 2021 made before April 30, 2020, can also be changed up to 24 hours before embarkation.
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald WaterwaysScenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and subsidiary Emerald Waterways plan to resume service May 1. This season’s remaining Mekong River cruises up to mid-May have also been entirely canceled.
Both brands will provide guests affected by the canceled cruises a 125% future cruise credit valid for two years. Or, passengers can request a 100% refund.
Per updated policies, for departures from May 1 to May 31, guests can cancel up to 14 days before embarkation and get a full future cruise credit toward sail dates until Dec. 31, 2021. For departures from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, passengers may cancel up to 30 days prior to sailing and receive a full future cruise credit.
TauckTauck plans to resume service April 14.
According to the line: “If you are scheduled to travel with us between these dates, we will be reaching out to you directly in the coming days.”
If any further cruises are canceled, a full refund will be provided.
For planned travel between April 14 and June 30, 2020 (with booking paid in full), guests may cancel and receive cancellation fees in the form of a future cruise credit good toward a 2020 or 2021 trip.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise CollectionUniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection plans to resume service April 24. Egyptian voyages have also been suspended through May 1.
Affected travelers scheduled on the canceled cruises can rebook on any 2020 or 2021 cruise or get a full future cruise credit good for the next two years.
Regarding reservations for travel after April 23, 2020, guests have the option to cancel up to 14 days in advance of sailing and transfer the credit to another voyage or to a Uniworld sister brand (from Trafalgar to Insight Vacations) trip in 2020 or 2021.
Viking (updated on March 30)Viking plans to resume service July 1.
Travelers who were supposed to sail before then will receive a 125% future cruise credit good for two years. Or, passengers can request a 100% refund.
Viking’s revised cancellation policy allows guests who make a reservation by April 30, 2020, to cancel their cruise up to 24 hours in advance of sailing. Passengers who opt for this will receive a full future cruise credit. The credit will be good for two years.
Note to Advisors “We will stand by our guests, employees and partners in these challenging times and hope that they in turn will stand by us,” the line said.