Disney Cruise Line, P&O Cruises extend COVID-19 sailing suspension into 2021


While the cruise industry is on an operational pause through the end of the year, a few cruise lines have begun to voluntarily extend their sailing suspensions past that date due to the impact of COVID-19.

Britain’s P&O Cruises, part of Carnival Corp., will not resume operations before April 2021, the company said.

In a statement, P&O CEO Paul Ludlow cited “the ever-changing guidance around international travel and the varying regulations in many European ports of call.”

Disney Cruise Line has extended its hiatus through Jan. 31, 2021. Sailings have been canceled on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and Disney Dream through Feb. 1 and on the Disney Fantasy through Feb. 6.

Three more Carnival Corp. subsidiaries have also announced they will suspend sailings until April 1, 2021: Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line.

“As Holland America Line continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company is extending its pause of cruise operations for all departures through March 31, 2021,” the cruise line said in its announcement.

The cruise line also canceled itineraries of eight days or longer that make port calls in the U.S. until Nov. 1, 2021. Some longer voyages in South America, Australia and New Zealand and Asia will also be canceled through mid-April 2021, according to the announcement with some rescheduled to similar dates in 2022.

Holland America owns several major cruise lines including Princess Cruises flagship Carnival Cruise Line, which have also extended their sailing suspensions.

Princess Cruises extended its operational pause on all cruises across the globe through March 31 of 2021 to “allow time” to meet safety standards and complete activities required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Conditional Sailing Order” to resume sailing in U.S. waters, the company announced in a statement Friday.

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“We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, in the statement.

The cruise line owns the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess ships, both of which had deadly COVID-19 outbreaks on board earlier this year that forced the ships into quarantine.

According to the CDC, 712 passengers on the Diamond Princess tested positive for COVID-19, and nine died. A cluster of cases was traced to the Grand Princess, including a northern California man thought to be the state’s first COVID-19 death at the time.

The company also announced the cancellation of cruises longer than seven days that are departing from the U.S. until November 1, 2021. Additionally, Princess canceled cruises in Japan through June 25, 2021. The Diamond Princess was quarantined in Japan in March.

Carnival canceled all of its planned sailings in U.S. waters until February and some sailings into March, the line said in a release provided by spokesperson Vance Gulliksen earlier this week.

Like Princess and Holland America, Carnival said it “continues to build and implement its plan to meet the requirements” of the CDC’s “Conditional Sailing Order,” which was issued Oct. 30.

“We are committed to meeting the CDC requirements and keeping our guests and business partners informed of our progress,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement.

All cruises from U.S. homeports between Jan.1 and Jan. 31 have been canceled. The line also canceled cruises from Baltimore; Charleston, South Carolina; Mobile, Alabama; Jacksonville, Florida; Long Beach, California; San Diego and New Orleans through Feb. 28 and all embarkations on Carnival Legend departing from Tampa, Florida, through March 26, according to the release.

Carnival also shared that it is in the process of creating a “gradual, phased in” approach that will begin with cruises departing from Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida, which will be followed by Galveston, Texas.

“Consistent with CDC protocols, Carnival Horizon arrives in Miami this week, and Carnival Breeze will be the next ship back to the U.S.,” Carnival added. “In total, 16 Carnival ships are currently following the CDC process for an eventual resumption of guest service in the U.S. in 2021, including Carnival Conquest, Dream, Ecstasy, Elation, Freedom, Glory, Liberty, Miracle, Panorama, Pride, Sensation, Sunrise, Sunshine and Vista. Mardi Gras, which is under construction in Finland, will also enter service in 2021.”

Carnival canceled previous sailings into the spring months on four ships in the U.S. and paused operations in Australia through March 2.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Disney Cruise Line, P&O Cruises extend COVID-19 suspensions into 2021


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