And just like that, a new slew of cruise delays have been announced for this year. There have been plenty of good signs in regards to cruising getting started again this year. But it doesn’t look like all companies (and all nations, for that matter) are ready to get back into business just yet. Here are all the latest delays, as well as the refunds you can expect if your cruise was cancelled.
No Canadian cruises until 2022
Okay, let’s get the worst news out of the way first. On February 4th, the Canadian government announced that it would not be accepting any cruise ships in Canadian waters until February 28th, 2022. This means that there will be no cruises through Canada, but it also completely ruins any hope for an Alaskan cruise season in the coming year. The Passenger Vessel Services Act makes it so that almost all ships headed to Alaska need to stop in Canada, which is obviously impossible with this new ruling from the Canadian government. Small ships with less than 100 passengers will be able to sail in Canadian water. For Alaskan cruises, though, the restrictions are tighter. No ships with more than 12 passengers can enter Arctic waters. Finding a refund in relation to this delay will depend on the company that you had booked with. Reach out to them (as well as your travel agent) to get one.
In addition to the Canadian government pushing the return of cruising back to 2022, a few cruise lines also announced that they would be delaying their restarts for a bit longer. MSC will now no longer sailing in the U.S. until April 30th, 2021. This pushes their restart date back by about a month. They are one of the few cruise lines operating right now with a few ships in the Mediterranean. Guests will get a refund in the form of a cruise credit of 125% of their payment. Regular cash refunds are also available.
Fred. Olsen also announced that they would be extending their pause in operations. They will now start sailing again on May 22nd, 2021. A statement from the company said that, “This extra time allows us the opportunity to fully understand how the roll-out in the vaccine affects the procedures we operate on board and ashore.” Guests will be able to choose between a cash refund and a credit refund.
The delays from Fred. Olsen and MSC aren’t huge, but the news from Canada definitely puts a damper on the excitement for 2021 cruises. We are still confident that we can see a return to normalcy this year, however. The wait just might be a bit longer in some areas!