Carnival Group Owned Cruise Line, Princess Cruises has announced it will shut down all of its operations across the world for two months, in its response to the COVID-19 / Coronavirus threat.
Jan Swartz, the President of the cruise line, said the company was making this bold move to reassure its “loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world”.
Current sailings that are scheduled to end within the next five days will continue as expected so that onward travel arrangements are not disrupted, the company has said.
Current Voyages Will Be Cut Short
“However voyages that extend past 17 March will be cut short at a convenient disembarkation location for guests,” Princess added.
This announcement impacts the cruise line’s fleet of 18 ships and will affect cruises from this coming Thursday to 10 May 2020.
Refund Or Postone
Travellers impacted by this change will have the choice of a full refund or to transfer 100% of the money paid to Princess to a future cruise credit, which can be used on any voyage departing up until 1 May 2022.
Those for opt to take the credit will also be given “an additional generous future cruise credit benefit” which can be applied to the cruise fare.
This offer will also apply for any guests who had made final payment and then cancelled bookings on or after 4 February 2020.
Swartz has said the company would use the 60 day period to prepare the Princess Cruises fleet for its return to service.
“Princess Cruises plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing 11 May 2020,” she added.
Badly Hit By Coronavirus
Princess Cruises have been particularly badly hit by COVID-19 with the Diamond Princess having one of the largest groups of Coronavirus-infected outside of China with more than 700 infected passengers and crew. The cruise line was quarantined at a Japanese port on 4 February after a previous guest, who didn’t have any symptoms while aboard the ship, tested positive for the virus.
And in another incident last week, there were 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases on another Carnival-owned ship, the Grand Princess, which was moored off the coast of California. The ship had roughly 3,500 passengers and crew on board. The ship has been directed to the Port of Oakland, where passengers are disembarking and being transported to quarantine facilities.
Princess Cruises is owned by Carnival Corporation, which also owns Carnival Cruise Line and Cunard. We are wondering whether the company will follow the same protocol for its other cruise companies. If you’ve got a cruise planned, you probably shoudn’t start packing yet.
Is your cruise affected by the Princess Cruise cancellations? Tell us in the comments below.