Princess Cruises – a US cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation, and a member of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – has cancelled both its 2021 world cruise and its circle South America itinerary.
While CLIA members had agreed to suspend all operations until Number 2020, in line with health and safety concerns and due the continued uncertainty around Covid-19 travel restrictions, Princess Cruises explained that this latest announcement – which sees the cruise liner pulling its operations well beyond what was agreed amongst CLIA members – was due to government and health authority restrictions and limitations on border and port access, as well as the continued uncertainty around air travel.
Very recently, the company unveiled its CruiseHealth programme, detailing its Covid-19 guidelines and measurements prior to embarkation and while onboard for passengers ahead of its return to sailing. These include touchless temperature checks, secondary screening where necessary before embarkation, enhanced ventilation systems with HEPA filtration in key areas such as medical centres and isolation rooms and social distancing regulations. “These are just the start as we adapt to the latest science and ever-evolving situation,” Princess Cruises said.
Since then, and on a separate note, the company has announced that it is cancelling Island Princess’ 2021 world cruise voyage, which was scheduled to sail from North America. It has also cancelled Pacific Princess’ 2021 circle South America sailing from Australia. All associated segment and repositioning cruises are also cancelled. The cruise line also announced that it is extending the suspension of its operations in Australia, with a planned resumption date of 12 December. This includes cruises throughout Australia and New Zealand.
“We share in the disappointment of this cancellation for guests of our world cruises because it’s a pinnacle cruise vacation experience, booked by some of our most loyal guests,” said Princess President Jan Swartz.
Princess Cruises explained that guests booked onto a Princess Australia and New Zealand cruise, or one of the two cancelled 2021 voyages will receive a refundable future cruise credit voucher, which will be equivalent to 100 per cent of the cruise fare, plus a non-refundable bonus of credit equal to 125 per cent to the cruise fare. Guests have been given until 30 September 2020 to opt in for a refund, otherwise, they will be issued with credit.
In addition, Princess Cruises asserted that it would protect travel agent commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full. A move that it said aimed to recognise the ‘critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success’.
Meanwhile, Silversea’s Silver Spirit (Silversea is owned by Royal Caribbean Group and also a member of the CLIA) has achieved a certification in infection prevention for maritime (CIP-M). The three-year certification was awarded by the DNV GL following a close audit of all its operations, with a focus on the cruise line’s Covid-19 outbreak prevention and response plan, infection prevention leadership and communication flow, medical equipment management and infection risk management processes.
Silversea President and CEO, Roberto Martinoli, said that the certification demonstrated Silversea’s ‘unwavering commitment’ to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of guests, crew and the destinations that it visits. “Informed by the work of the Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Sail Panel, we are working hard to enhance our already exceptional sanitation procedures on board,” he added. “Beginning with Silver Spirit, we will continue to work with DNV GL to gain certification across the rest of our fleet to provide the safest possible conditions for our healthy return to sailing, when the time is right to do so.”