Cruises Are Slowly Starting to Make a Comeback — See Plans for Major Lines in 2021
As cruising around the world is making a gradual return to the high seas, sailing from the United States has remained off-limits leading to more cancellations throughout 2021.
Royal Caribbean, which has planned several vaccinated cruises including those leaving from the Mediterranean, Israel, and the Caribbean, has canceled all other sailings through the end of June, according to the cruise line. The company's Quantum of the Seas ship, for example, will forgo its Alaska season and remain in Asia, where it has been since it started sailing in Singapore in December.
The same goes for Royal Caribbean's other lines, like Celebrity Cruises, which will sail from St. Maarten and Greece this summer, but has suspended all other sailings through June 30; and Silversea Cruises, which has suspended all itineraries through June 30 except some summer sailings like to the Galapagos and Greece.
“Safety is the first priority, and we know that cruising can be safe, as we have seen in Europe and Asia,” Richard D. Fain, the chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, said in a statement, adding promising vaccination numbers in the U.S. coupled with health and safety measures “enables us to create a safe environment to take a cruise.”
Norwegian Cruise Line, which has planned several sailings around the Caribbean and Mediterranean this summer, will require all passengers and crew to be vaccinated in order to board any sailing through at least Oct. 31. The company has told the CDC it hopes to resume trips out of the U.S. on or around July 4, but has suspended sailings through August 31 on the Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star, and Sun.
The vaccination requirement has been extended to Norwegian’s other lines: Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Princess Cruises is planning fully-vaccinated summer voyages from Southampton, sailing around the UK coast, but has canceled all other itineraries to the Caribbean, California Coast, Mexico, and the Mediterranean through at least June 30, according to the company. Currently, there is no planned vaccination requirement for other Princess Cruises going forward.
Carnival Cruise Line, which has not announced a vaccination requirement for its ships, has canceled all sailings from U.S. ports through June 30.
“We know that this is very disappointing to our guests who continue to be eager to sail, and we remain committed to working with the Administration and the CDC to find a workable solution that best serves the interest of public health,” Christine Duffy, the president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. “While we have not made plans to move Carnival Cruise Line ships outside of our U.S. homeports, we may have no choice but to do so in order to resume our operations which have been on ‘pause’ for over a year.”
Similarly, Disney Cruise Line has suspended all U.S. sailings through June and extended its cancelation of Disney Magic cruises through October 9, according to the company. The cruise line does, however, plan to sail some cruises on the Disney Magic in the UK for British residents this summer.
Vaccines are not currently required to sail with Disney.
Disney said it would also “continue to evaluate various options for the Disney Wonder’s scheduled season in Alaska” in light of Canada’s ban on large cruise ships through February 2022.
Holland America, which also has not announced a vaccine requirement for its ships, has extended its pause in operations, canceling sailings to Europe and roundtrip to Alaska from Seattle through June 30.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.