2 Cruise Lines Extend Suspensions

Celestyal Cruises extends sailing pause through March 2021. (Photo courtesy of Celestyal Cruises.)

Two more cruise lines extend their suspensions, one through Spring of 2021 and one through end of August.

Celestyal Cruises  has announced the further suspension of its sailings until the previously announced 2021 season, commencing March 6, 2021.

Celestyal was one of the first cruise lines worldwide to take an immediate decision to temporarily suspend cruise operations out of the abundance of caution for its guests, crew and the local communities it serves in mid-March. This decisive action resulted in no COVID-19 cases on Celestyal’s ships, and the company was able to repatriate its guests and crew home safely before international air travel and borders shut down globally.

“As the core of our season runs from the Spring through the Autumn, we were optimistic that we would be able to resume our cruise operations later this summer. However, given the prevailing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions through the balance of our operating season from our largest international source markets coupled with the continuing discussions at the European Union level regarding the enhanced health protocols that will apply to EU cruise operations, we made the difficult but prudent decision to postpone resuming cruise operations until the scheduled start of our normal spring season next year,” says Leslie Peden, chief commercial officer for Celestyal Cruises in a press statement. “We felt that as a company, we have already put our travel partners and guests through enough date changes on when cruising could return safely. By voluntarily pausing operations until our scheduled departures of next year, Celestyal will be better positioned to offer more clarity and certainty to our valued partners and guests, as well as peace of mind. We will now shift our full attention to developing both 2021 and 2022 business where we are already seeing encouraging signs of pent-up demand and be well prepared to implement all enhanced health protocols that will ultimately be established by the EU and the countries where we operate. While we appreciate and share in the disappointment this decision has on our guests, their wellbeing, as well as that of our loyal crew and the local communities we visit is always our top priority.”

For all named and paid individual guests impacted by this suspension, Celestyal Cruises is offering a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) valued at 120 percent of original booking value. Guests will have until the end of December 2021 to redeem their Future Cruise Credit against any of Celestyal Cruises’ itineraries through end of December 2022. To provide additional peace of mind, should guests choose not to redeem their FCC by end of December 2021, they will automatically receive a full refund equal to the original amount paid to Celestyal upon the voucher’s expiration. Celestyal is providing added confidence to both guests and travel advisors through the welcomed assurance of their FCC’s supported by enhanced consumer rights and underlying guarantees, as the case may be.

Celestyal Cruises will automatically send the Future Cruise Credit voucher directly to guests or their travel advisors, so there will be no need to call the Contact Center other than to rebook.

Celestyal Cruises recently launched their 2021 and 2022 digital brochure supported by the generous early booking promotional campaign Escape To The Future, and a comforting Peace of Mind policy that allows newly booked guests to change any cruise that sets sail through Dec. 31, 2021. This applies to new bookings made until Aug. 31, 2020. As long as the booking is changed at least 30 days before the sail date, a future cruise credit for 100 percent of the value received by Celestyal will be issued. The credit can be used toward any cruise that sets sail through Dec. 31, 2022.

For more information, visit celestyalcruises.com/en/cruises.

American Queen Also Extends Through August
American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is extending its temporary suspension of operations on board the American Empress through Aug. 2, 2020 and the American Duchess through Aug. 16, 2020. The decision was made in an abundance of caution for the health and safety of its guests and crew.

“The decision to extend our suspension was disappointing, but necessary in order to prioritize the wellbeing of our guests, crew and partners,” says John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company in a press statement. “We have continued to monitor the climate surrounding COVID-19, we feel that extending our relaunch date is the most responsible way to uphold our commitment to the safety of each individual who steps on board one of our paddlewheelers and to the communities we visit.”

AQSC will be contacting all guests and travel agents impacted by the extended suspensions to discuss available rebooking options and offer a future cruise credit for 125 percent of the cruise fare valid through 2022.

The company will continue to work closely with ports of call and the local communities it visits and adhere to the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Coast Guard to prepare for sailings when they resume.

To view a full overview of the new health and safety protocols being implemented by AQSC, please visit americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/health-and-safety-protocols.

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