Recent cancellations from some of the biggest cruise lines in America seem to imply that cruising will not return to the country in 2020. With a few European countries now allowing cruising, U.S. citizens were hoping that their nation would follow suit. Things were starting to seem hopeful, but a number of December cancellations spell trouble.
As one of the most popular cruise lines in the United States, Carnival was really hoping that they wouldn’t need to wait until 2021 to get back into business. But it seems that that is what is happening. They were eyeing December as the month that they would be able to phase back into sailing, but their December itineraries have now been removed from their website. They have yet to announce if these itineraries will be moved into 2021 or if they will be replaced later on.
Regent, Oceania, and Norwegian
Regent, Oceania, and Norwegian have also cancelled all of their December itineraries. We include these three under an umbrella because they are all owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. This corporation broke the news on November 2nd that their three cruise lines would not be sailing in December. 2021 it is, then.
As the largest cruise line in the world, it’s safe to say that many other companies look towards Royal Caribbean to set standards in the industry. And that is partially why it is alarming that they too have cancelled all of their December sailings. We view this as the final nail in the coffin for 2020 U.S. sailings. In a statement, Royal said, “We plan to utilize this time to thoroughly train our staff and crew on our new health and safety protocols, while also conducting a number of trial sailings to stress-test these measures in real-world conditions.”
The future for U.S. cruises
With all of these cruise lines cancelling their remaining 2020 itineraries, it seems certain that we will be waiting until 2021 to sail again. These cancellations come at the same time that the CDC has shifted away from their No Sail Order in favor of a Conditional Sailing Order. Perhaps the cancellations are a sign of companies restructuring their plans for the near future to focus on the simulated voyages that they have to do for the CDC. Once these are out of the way, we might see plenty of 2021 itineraries popping up.
If you were affected by any of these cancellations, let your travel agent know or contact your cruise line directly for a refund. 2020 may be a bust for cruising, but 2021 still could be great.