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P&O Cruises Australia suspends operations for 30 days

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These were scheduled to depart Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.

April 12 resumption

The company plans to resume operations on April 12.

Pacific Explorer’s scheduled call at Eden on Sunday has been cancelled and the ship will return to Sydney as planned on Monday.

Pacific Dawn’s cruise from Brisbane Saturday will not proceed.

Pacific Aria, currently on a cruise to Tasmania, will now return to Adelaide on Monday.

Support for government efforts to contain the virus

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said the company is confident in its existing public health measures to maintain a healthy on-board environment for guests and crew.

However, Myrmell said the responsible course is to support the efforts of federal and state governments and their senior health experts as they work to contain the spread of COVID-19.

‘Cancelling or reducing the length of a cruise is the last thing we would ever want to do but these are extraordinary times and we have no hesitation in putting the health and well-being of our guests, crew and the wider community first,’ he said. 

200% future cruise credit

For passengers whose future voyages have been cancelled during the 30-day period, the company is offering a full refund or a future cruise credit equal to 200% of the cost of their original cruise.

Commissions protected

It will protect travel agent commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits.

Carnival Cruise Line Australia to 'pause' after current voyages end

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Both Carnival Splendor, here, and Carnival Spirit are at sea and will continue their voyages, with Spirit due back in Sydney Monday and Splendor on Thursday

Splendor and Spirit will complete current cruises

Both Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit are currently at sea and will continue their voyages.

Carnival Spirit is due to return to Sydney on Monday and Carnival Splendor returns next Thursday. 

‘Throughout this COVID-19 situation that has now turned into a global pandemic, we have implemented higher and higher levels of screening, monitoring and sanitation protocols to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve,’ a company spokesman said.

Bigger than the industry

‘While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to our operation, we realise this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and we will continue to do our part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge,’ the spokesman said.

‘Our guests have been tremendously patient and understanding as we have reacted to a rapidly changing situation and a desire to be responsive to authorities in Australia and the destinations we visit,’ he said. 

New Zealand’s ‘toughest border restrictions of any country in the world’

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Jacinda Ardern announces people arriving in New Zealand must isolate themselves for 14 days

As well, travellers from all countries, except Pacific nations, entering the country must be quarantined for 14 days.

NZ citizens included

This includes New Zealand citizens or residents returning to the country.

It's all part of what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called ‘the widest ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world.’

To date New Zealand has six confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no recorded deaths.

Ardern said these are ‘far-reaching and unprecedented measures’ to tackle the global pandemic.

'Significant' economic effect

Debbie Summers, chairman of the New Zealand Cruise Association, said Ardern’s ban on incoming cruise ships will have a significant effect on the NZ tourist economy and will impact severely on NZCA members.

‘This announcement has come as a great shock to us,’ Summers said. 

Ships already in NZ waters exempted

‘Cruise ships already in New Zealand waters are not included in the ban, but our estimates are that 141 visits and 45 voyages will be cancelled,’ she said. 

Seeking to have ban lifted earlier

‘We will be meeting with the government to ask that the ban is lifted earlier and that it does not go beyond June 30.’

However, Summers said ‘this is a pause and we will get through this.’

All CLIA oceangoing lines suspend cruises from/to US ports

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30-day hiatus

This will be for 30 days as public health officials and the US government continue to address COVID-19.

This capped a day of rapid-fire developments for the cruise industry and the US, with President Trump declaring a national emergency to free up $50bn in federal funds to fight the virus. Late Friday lawmakers were honing in on a relief package which could possibly include some form of cruise industry support, though Seatrade Cruise News understands none was requested or expected. 

In the afternoon, before CLIA's blanket announcement, Vice President Mike Pence noted several cruise lines were 'pausing,' a move he said was praised by the Department of Homeland Security. 

Additional Carnlval North American brands

At that point, 17 cruise brands, including some river lines, had declared 'pauses.' CLIA's announcement raised that even higher and encompasses further big names like Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Cunard North America and Seabourn. (Princess Cruises previously suspended global operations.)

Unprecedented situation

'This is an unprecedented situation,' CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead said. 'Our industry has taken responsibility for protecting public health for more than 50 years, working under the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exceptional vacation experiences for guests, as well as meaningful employment opportunities for crew.

'This has been a challenging time,' she continued, 'but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible.'

Takes effect March 14

The temporary suspension will take effect at 12 a.m. EST March 14.

'Putting people first'

'We do not take this decision lightly, and we want the traveling public to know in no uncertain terms the commitment of this industry to putting people first,' CLIA Global Chairman Adam Goldstein said. 'During this time, we will continue to work with the CDC and others to prepare for resumption of sailings when it is appropriate.

'We know the travel industry is a huge economic engine for the United States and when our ships once again sail, our industry will be a significant contributor to fueling the economic recovery,' he added.

 Economic contributor

The cruise industry supports more than 421,000 American jobs, with every 30 cruisers supporting one US job, and annually contributes nearly $53bn to the US economy, CLIA said. Cruise activity supports travel agencies, airlines, hotels and a broad supply chain of industries that stretches across the country.

French Polynesia stops cruise calls until April 11

Tahaa bungalows

Until recently, the area had been spared of coronavirus but three cases were confirmed today.

Tahiti-based ships to proceed to Papeete without delay

Tahiti-based ships have been ordered to return to Papeete immediately to disembark passengers so they can go back to their home countries. No new embarkations will be allowed.

Procedures for disembarking in Papeete are being communicated by maritime agents to their cruise line clients by the Tahiti Cruise Club. The passengers' repatriation and accommodation will be coordinated with the Tourism Ministry and Tahiti hotels.

The April 11 date will be reviewed and may be extended according to the international situation.

Paul Gauguin Cruises did not respond to a request for information on Friday.

Royal Caribbean group, NCLH halt sailings, a move praised by US

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The Royal Caribbean group's four brands and the three brands of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings are each taking a 30-day 'pause'

17 brands and counting are 'pausing'

This brings a hefty tally of ocean and river cruise brands — at least 17 as of Friday afternoon — that are calling in their ships for the time being.

During Friday's White House briefing on the coronavirus containment effort, Vice President Mike Pence noted several cruise lines were 'pausing,' a move he said was praised by the Department of Homeland Security.

For the RCL brands — Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises — it will be a 30-day hiatus on sailings to/from the US. (Saturday update: The group subsequently suspended global operations.)

'Our part to play': RCL

'We understand the gravity of the public health crisis confronting the country. And this is our part to play. So, beginning at midnight tonight, we are pausing the fleet's US sailings for 30 days,' RCL said Friday afternoon.

The company is reaching out to passengers and crew to work out the issues this decision presents for them.

'We know this adds great stress to our guests, employees and crew, and we are working to minimize the disruption,' RCL said.

NCL, Oceania, Regent

For NCLH, sailings embarking between March 13 and April 11 are canceled. This includes those of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Sailings underway will end, passengers will disembark 'as soon as possible' and will be assisted with travel arrangements.

'We understand the inconvenience that this disruption may cause our guests and travel partners during these quickly evolving and challenging times, and we appreciate their understanding as we partner with local, state, federal and global agencies to combat the spread of COVID-19,' NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio said.

Pence: Cruise lines considering additional steps

As for the cruise industry's coronavirus action proposal submitted earlier this week, Pence noted the lines are also currently considering 'other steps.'

MSC Cruises winding down global ship operations through April

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The wind-down includes MSC Cruises' US-based ships like MSC Meraviglia, pictured here at PortMiami

45 days for US-based ships

All US-based sailings are now being halted for 45 days.

The company has been progressively winding down across areas considered at high risk for coronavirus transmission in the Mediterranean, the Arabian Gulf and Asia.

South America and South Africa

Ships sailing in South America and South Africa will also go out of service at the end of their current itineraries.

All other operations have either already halted or will wind down progressively as certain local itineraries, in particular in South Africa and South America come to an end and will resume on or after 30 April.

Canada blocks cruise calls by ships over 500 people until July

Ships carrying more than 500 people are impacted

Canada/New England

The Canada/New England program, also significant, will be affected although the bulk of those sailings are in the autumn. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced the decision to delay the cruise season over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Repercussions for US ports like Seattle

Since US caborage law requires foreign-flag ships to stop at a foreign port on a US round-trip, Canada's move has serious repercussions for ports like Seattle.

'We are reviewing Transport Canada’s actions and evaluating the order’s impacts on the 2020 Alaska cruise season,' the Port of Seattle said. 'The pace of change and scale of operational impact is significant, and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders on next steps.'

Why 500 people?

The reason for the 500 limit, Seatrade Cruise News has been told by a source with knowledge of the matter, is that it is the capacity of the health system to handle an emergency situation at one shot.

According to news reports, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the government would re-examine the ban after June 30.

Additional precautions for small ships

Smaller ships and ferries are still allowed and specific health precautions will be applied.

Seatrade Cruise Global postponed; alternative options under review

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We have continuously reviewed the situation with regard to holding Seatrade Cruise Global in April 2020. Up until recently, the majority of industry feedback indicated that we should try to continue with the event as scheduled if possible. 

It’s clear now however, that this is not possible due to the numerous globally imposed travel bans and the latest restrictions related to running events within Miami-Dade County, as well as latest feedback we have received from many of you.

We therefore confirm Seatrade Cruise Global 2020 has been postponed and that we are working with our association partners and you, our customers, on alternative options. 

Your feedback has consistently shown us that our shows bring the cruising community together and facilitate meaningful relationships, which are more important now than ever. It’s clear that all of us within the cruise industry want a platform, however that cannot take place in April.

We hope that this proactive move allows us all to stay safe and conduct business in what we anticipate will be a less uncertain timeframe later this year.

The Seatrade Cruise team is continuing to work in the coming week to look at the full range of options and address any questions that exhibitors, delegates and sponsors might have. We thank you for your continued support and patience with us through these challenging weeks.

These are unprecedented times as we look to reinvent and reposition our events to adapt accordingly, while still bringing you the dedicated platforms for meetings, collaboration and business generation. We will issue more information shortly as we firm up more details. Please check on the Seatrade Cruise Global website which will be updated accordingly.

As always, we look forward to continuing to work with you as our partners, customers and industry colleagues on Seatrade Cruise events taking place in the second half of 2020 and to seeing many of you at  Seatrade Cruise Med | 16-17 September | Malaga, Spain, and we appreciate your patience as we finalise new dates for Seatrade Cruise Global. 


Costa, AIDA, Fred. Olsen, CMV announce temporary halt to cruises

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Costa and AIDA ships are planned to resume sailing in early Apriil. For Costa Smeralda, pictured here, the planned date is April 4

Costa and AIDA intend to resume in early April, and Cruise & Maritime Voyages by April 24, while Fred. Olsen is waiting until May 23. 

For Costa and AIDA, cruises currently underway will call at suitable ports to disembark passengers without making additional port calls.

Travel logistics 'more challenging than ever'

In the past months Costa had further strengthened coronavirus precautions and has followed World Health Organization guidelines, however the company said the logistics of traveling around the world are today 'more challenging than ever and with increased restrictions adopted by several countries, carrying out safe and smooth operations has become significantly complex.'

Follows Italy and China

Costa already had revsed the itineraries of its ships calling at Italian ports up to April 3, while operations in China were suspended Jan. 25. 

Scheduled dates of return to operations follow: Costa Magica, April 3 (from Barcelona), April 4 for Costa Smeralda and Costa Pacifica, April 5 for Costa Luminosa and Costa Diadema, April 8 for Costa Fortuna, April 10 for Costa Favolosa and Costa Mediterranea, and May 3 for Costa Fascinosa.

About 50 AIDA itineraries impacted

For AIDA Cruises, about 50 itineraries will be impacted. Refunds will be provided. Operations are planned to resume April 5. 

AIDA is also offering cancellation-free rebooking until May 31.

Fred. Olsen

Fred. Olsen's cruises will halt once ongoing itineraries end. 

For the time being, river vessel Brabant is not affected and the season is expected to commence on April 6, as planned. 

A full refund or a voucher for a future cruise valued at 125% of the original fare are being offered.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Embarkations for Cruise & Maritime Voyages' global voyages were stopping today for a planned six weeks. 

Passengers are offered a full refund or future cruise credit of 125% of the value of their cruise. This credit can be used against the best deal of the day including the line's current 2021 buy one, get one free offers and 2020 late saver deals.

Passengers who transfer will also get a 20% discount on CMV's 'Onboard Additions' beverage packages, plus a 10% shore excursion discount and a one-category cabin upgrade (subject to availability).

The credit may be used for any cruise through 2021 but the sailing must be booked by this July 31.