Major cruise lines just extended their sailing pause

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Bad news for any eager cruisegoers: cruise lines are continuing to extend cruising suspensions into 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The cruising industry initially saw a quiet period after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted and extended its no-sail order as the coronavirus pandemic began surging in 2020. But after months of waiting, in October, the CDC replaced its mandatory sailing pause with a “framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” a list of rigorous requirements needed for cruise lines to continue operating again by November.

Despite this order, an update to it in April, and the impending debut of several cruise ships over the next few years, the return of cruising still remains in limbo. Presently, no major US cruises will be setting sail until May at the earliest, but many cruise lines are still continuing to push back their sail dates.

Keep scrolling to see the updated sailing suspension dates for several major cruise lines:

Norwegian Cruises

norwegian epic cruise ship
Norwegian Cruises. Randy Brooke/WireImage/Getty Images

On a suspended sailings update on December 29, 2020Norwegian hit the pause button on all of its cruises that were set to sail through March. However, on January 19, the cruise line pushed this sail date back one month through April.

Almost a month later, Norwegian canceled all of its cruises through May. But on March 16, the cruise line announced it would be suspending all trips through June 30, including cruises on its Oceania and Regent Seven Seas lines.

On April 6, Norwegian announced it would halt sailings on eight ships – the Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star, and Sun – through August 31. Sailings on the Norwegian Epic and Pearl were also put on hold through September 1 and November 7, respectively.

However, sailings aboard the Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Jade, and Norwegian Gem are set to resume in July as fully vaccinated cruises in Europe and the Caribbean.

Princess Cruises

A fishing boat sails past the Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess cruise ship as it docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city, Philippines, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess cruise ship docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city Reuters

Princess Cruises originally paused its trips through March, according to a notice posted on November 20, 2020, but announced on January 6 that it would be extending this pause through May 14.

The cruise line had also paused all sailings through November 1 that were set to be longer than seven days going to and from US ports, and any trips sailing to and from Japan through June 25, according to the November notice.

“We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back on board to create summertime memories,” Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president, said in a statement.

However, on March 9, the cruise line again updated its suspensions list with different timelines for different cruises. For example, cruises from Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Rome have been halted through the end of June, while European cruises originally set to sail to and from Southhampton, England have been paused through September 25. You can view the updated sailing timelines on Princess Cruises’ website.

When the cruise line resumes sailing, several ships – including the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess – will have Princess’ MedallionClass Experience. This “experience” includes new health protocols and contactless features.

Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship Royal Caribbean
The Wonder of the Seas. Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean originally suspended its cruise trips through February 28, according to a December 17 update. However, on January 12, the cruise line pushed its no-sail date back even further through April 30. The only exceptions to this are its Quantum of the Seas ship in Singapore and Spectrum of the Seas ship in China.

Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Cruises line also halted any trips originally planned through April 30, according to an update on January 12. Several other Celebrity Cruises sailings were paused even further through October.

Less than a month later on March 9, Celebrity announced it would push this pause back through May.

On January 13, Royal Caribbean’s Silversea Cruises released an updated list of sailing dates with the first trip embarking on April 1. However, the soonest sail date was later pushed back to May 1, according to a January 21 update.

About two months later on March 9, the mega cruise group announced extended sailing pauses for its Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Silversea, and Azamara lines. In the announcement Royal Caribbean said its sailings would be put on hold through May 31, excluding its Quantum of the Seas and Odyssey of the Seas ships.

But on April 8, Royal Caribbean again extended this pause, this time through June 30.

There are some exceptions to this June 30 timeline, including the Vision of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas ships. Both will instead begin sailing in June as “fully vaccinated” cruises.

However, some trips will see an even longer suspension, including the Quantum of the Seas’ Alaska sailings from April to October 14 “in order to allow additional time for our preparation,” the cruise line announced. Meanwhile, Odyssey of the Seas’ Rome sailings from May to October 28 have also been suspended, and the new ship will instead set sail from Israel from June to October for Israeli residents only.

Anthem of the Seas sailings from June to August 29 have also been put on hold. The ship will instead sail in July for UK residents only.

Celebrity and Silversea’s cruises have also been suspended through May 31, while Azamara’s has been pushed back through June 30.

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