Cruise lines extend coronavirus suspensions into summer

MSC Cruises, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian won’t be back until June or July – or so they hope

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MSC Cruises is the latest cruise line to join the list of companies that have extended cruise suspensions into the summer over the coronavirus.

In a press release, MSC detailed its plans to begin sailing on July 10. Previously, the company anticipated it would return to the seas on May 29 when it first announced its fleet-wide suspension in March.

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The MSC Orchestra cruise ship docked in Riga by the old town in Latvia. (iStock)

Customers who have had their cruise affected by the halt will receive a 125 percent credit toward a future cruise so long as it is booked before Dec. 31, 2021.

The top three cruise lines in the U.S. – Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – are holding out for sail dates in June.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.14.29-1.02-6.66%
RCLROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES60.71-4.74-7.24%
NCLHNORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD.14.99-1.26-7.75%

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Cruise lines have been shut down since mid-March, and what was supposed to be at least a 30-day suspension has ended up being a three-to-four-month standstill.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “No Sail Order for Cruise Ships” on April 9, which is meant to be in effect through July or until the coronavirus pandemic is over.

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Tentative sail dates for the major cruise lines.

  • Azamara Club Cruises: June 10
  • Carnival Cruise Line: June 26
  • Celebrity Cruises: June 10
  • Holland America Line: June 30
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: June 30
  • Oceania Cruises: June 30
  • P&O Cruises: June 30
  • Princess Cruises: June 30
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises: June 30
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Line: June 10
  • Seabourn: June 30
  • Silversea: June 12

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The CDC is also requiring cruise companies to share what sanitization protocols are being implemented on ships as well as the number of ill or dead passengers or crew if applicable.

Globally, there are more than 3.1 million people infected with coronavirus and more than 227,000 people have passed away from the respiratory illness, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.

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Most notably, 712 people were infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship earlier this year. Thirteen passengers died.