Coronavirus: Four Carnival brands suspend cruises

Four Carnival-owned cruise lines – Cunard, P&O Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn – are temporarily suspending global operations because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cunard and P&O Cruises will suspend new cruises until April 11, while Holland America Line will stop cruises for 30 days, affecting sailings scheduled to depart until April 14.

Seabourn has paused global operations of its five cruise ships for 30 days, from March 14.

P&O Cruises: ‘Coronavirus unprecedented’

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “We will bring our ships back to Southampton and suspend any new cruises until April 11, 2020.

“This pause in operations has been done in an abundance of caution to support the global effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“These truly are unprecedented times; the likes of which we certainly have never seen before.

MoreCoronavirus: Latest news and updates

“We are so sorry that the holidays of many of our guests will be disrupted but our priority is to safeguard the wellbeing of our guests and crew and by taking these extraordinary measures we will be able to do so.

“Given the immediate situation, we are also looking at Iona’s itineraries in light of current restrictions in Norway and will provide an update to guests when we have more clarity.”

P&O Cruises will provide a 125% future cruise credit for passengers affected by the suspension.

Cunard suspend operations

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said: “We have decided no new guests or crew will be joining our ships as we suspend operations until April 11, 2020.”

Affected guests are being contacted regarding their options.

Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria will be returning to Southampton and the cruise line is reviewing Queen Elizabeth’s planned itineraries.

Holland America Line apologies for inconvenience

Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, said: “We know this decision will be disappointing and also inconvenience guests currently in transit, and for that we sincerely apologise.

“Holland America Line operates 14 ships on all seven continents and we thank all of our guests, travel advisor partners, employees and business partners for their support during this challenging time.”

Three cruises that were scheduled to depart from US ports on March 14-15 have been cancelled. Guests and their travel agents are being notified.

Passengers on the three cruises cancelled on March 14-15 (Oosterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam) will receive a 100% refund and 100% future cruise credit. 

Seabourn: ‘Health and safety top priority’

Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn, said: “Through this action, it is our absolute intention to convey to our guests and the travel advisor community that we have the health and safety of all who travel with us as a top priority.

“Our pause should also reassure the hundreds of destinations we visit each year that we want to be responsible in our operations as we bring travellers into their communities each time we visit.”

Current voyages will end by March 22. Seabourn will contact all booked guests and their travel agents about the changes and refunds.

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