Despite some great news with England opening up for sailing from 17 May and the European Union rolling out the Covid vaccine, it is still, unfortunately, too early for most cruise lines to commit to resuming in May 2021 in Europe.
In the Caribbean, no cruising is on the cards at the moment and in Alaska, the chance of the “Alaska Tourism Recovery Act” Bill being passed in the Senate is very small.
One tends to also forget that getting a ship ready to resume sailing is not an overnight job. “It takes at least 60 days to get a Norwegian Cruise Line ship ready to sail” according to Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH).
In the last couple of days, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Holland America and Seabourn have updated their resumption dates.
Royal Caribbean International has further extended the suspension of its fleet to end of May.
This excludes sailing onboard Odyssey of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.
The company states that "Our plan is to resume further operations in June".
The Royal Caribbean International ships that have resumed or are planning to do so are:
Quantum of the Seas - expected to stay in Asia and perform short cruises from Singapore, instead of covering the Alaskan season as previously planned. She resumed sailing on 1 December 2020 with a two-night cruise to nowhere out of Singapore. The ship had not sailed since March 2020.
Odyssey of the Seas - starting her inaugural season out of Haifa, Israel from June to October 2021. These cruises are only valid for Israeli residents. This East Mediterranean itinerary is replacing the initial sailing from Civitavecchia (Rome).
Spectrum of the Seas - A second ship to possibly join the Quantum of the Seas in Asia. The Spectrum of the Seas might be sailing around China or somewhere else in Asia, as it can be in position at short notice.
Voyager of the Seas - also in Asia and ready for a quick start up if necessary. Currently outside Singapore together with the Spectrum of the Seas.
Princess Cruises has announced at the beginning of the week that it is considering starting cruises in England mid-May.
For the rest of the fleet, Princess is extending its suspension for Mediterranean, Caribbean, Mexico and North America until end of June 2021.The ships affected by this announcement are:
- Caribbean Princess - was planned to resume on 15 May 2021 in the Caribbean.
- Enchanted Princess - was planned to resume 22 May 2021 in Mediterranean.
- Ruby Princess - was planned to resume 12 June 2021 in Mexico.
Holland America Line announced it will continue the suspension of European cruises until end of June 2021.
This suspension will impact the Nieuw Statendam (Northern Europe), Volendam (Greek Islands) and Westerdam (Greek Islands).
These ships were meant to start sailing between May and June.
Seabourn has announced that it will be cancelling selected 2021 European departures.
Itineraries affected by the announcement:
- Seabourn Sojourn - will resume on 3 July 2021.
- Seabourn Encore - will resume on 3 July 2021.
- Seabourn Ovation - will resume on 3 July 2021.
- Seabourn Quest - will resume on 7 November 2021
On 24 February, Seabourn cancelled the 19 Alaskan cruises for Seabourn Odyssey pushing the start of her season in the Caribbean to 6 November 2021.