Can’t wait to get away on your yearly cruise but feel hopeless in the face of the seemingly never-ending pandemic? Express.co.uk reveals everything you need to know about cruise ships reopening.
A number of cruise ships were struck with coronavirus outbreaks back in March.
Holidays on ships were suspended after being deemed unsafe and a blanket travel restriction was placed on the UK.
The EU has employed a number of new regulations for cruise ships, from cleaning procedures to capacity limits, in the hope that cruise ships can start their engines again.
The Government has announced a number of countries that English people are free to travel to and from without needing to quarantine on either side on the trip.
The new FCO travel advice applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route, and so would include cruise ships.
While the US is unlikely to make an appearance on the list until the end of the year, there are plenty of other corners of the world to explore on a cruise.
Hopping on a cruise-ship won’t be as straightforward as it used to be, with a range of checks in place for when ships can welcome passengers again post-pandemic.
Here’s when cruises are likely to resume and what restrictions will come into play when they do.
READ MORE- Cruise holidays: Big changes for cruise ships announced
When are cruises likely to resume?
TUI’s Marella Cruises, which normally sail to over 200 destinations, was initially due to open from July 30.
However, it has since extended its suspension until August 27.
The Marella Discovery, which offers eight cruise routes around Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, will not resume Palma sailings until November.
Sailings on the ship to the Caribbean will not resume until February 2021.
Passengers who have already booked will be refunded either in credit with an additional 10 percent, or given a full monetary refund.
Sir Richard Branson postponed the showcase tour of brand new cruise line Virgin Voyages due to the virus.
Those who were due to stay on the ship will receive a 200 percent future voyage credit voucher plus up to $500 in on-board credit if they rebook before June 30.
Once the new ship Scarlet Lady is launched, the line plans to launch another three ships for future trips.
Viking Cruises was initially due to start up again on June 30, but this has been extended until August 31.
However, Viking is looking into operating cruises around Britain this summer instead.
If your trip falls before this date, you will be offered a choice between a future cruise voucher worth 125 percent of what you paid, or a refund equal to the amount paid.
You can use this voucher within 24 months, and if you don’t use it you will automatically get a refund equal to the original amount paid.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd owns Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara.
Each of these lines will be restarting in September, with all of this year’s trips to Canada, New England, Alaska and Hawaii cancelled.
This is because the Canadian government has extended its cruise ship restrictions on ships carrying more than 100 passengers until October 31.
If you are affected by this delay, you are offered a 125 per cent future cruise credit to be used by December 31 next year or a full refund.
P&O Cruises were due to reopen in June, but will now resume business in the middle of October.
The Iona’s maiden voyage which was due to travel to the Norwegian fjords on May 15 and the IonaFest cruise which was meant to leave on July 4 have both been interrupted.
P&O will provided a voucher worth 125 percent of the value of the original booking, and this can be used for any trips up to the end of March 2022.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line, which owns three brands including Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises, is set to restart on October 1.
However, Canada and New England cruises have been cancelled until the end of October, and all Alaska cruses this year have been cancelled.
Again, customers booked on affected cruises are being offered a 125 percent refund of their original payment in the form of credit. This can be used until December 31, 2022.
You could also opt for a straight refund if you don’t fancy going on a cruise.