Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings brands including NCL, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas are the latest cruise firms to have suspended voyages.
Royal Caribbean said it would be pausing its fleet’s US sailings for 30 days from midnight on Friday, though it confirmed cruises departing US ports before midnight and international cruises would operate their scheduled itineraries.
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NCL said its three brands would be suspending all sailings embarking between March 13 and April 11. Guests on voyages that are underway will conclude and “be disembarked as soon as possible and assisted with travel arrangements”.
A Royal Caribbean statement said: “We understand the gravity of the public health crisis confronting the country. And this is our part to play. So, beginning at midnight tonight, we are pausing the fleet’s US sailings for 30 days.
“We are reaching out to our guests to help them work through this disruption to their vacations, and we are truly sorry for their inconvenience. We are also communicating with our crew to work out the issues this decision presents for them. We know this adds great stress to our guests, employees and crew, and we are working to minimize the disruption.”
The statement added: “Cruises that depart US ports before midnight tonight and international cruises will operate their scheduled itineraries. US ships already at sea will finish their itineraries as planned.”
Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said: “The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our highest priority. With the COVID-19 coronavirus impacting communities around the globe, we have enacted a voluntary temporary suspension of cruise voyages across our brands effective immediately.”
He added: “We understand the inconvenience that this disruption may cause our guests and travel partners during these quickly evolving and challenging times, and we appreciate their understanding as we partner with local, state, federal and global agencies to combat the spread of COVID-19.”
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