As the world continues to face the challenges of the pandemic and due to extension of the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world and other factors impacting international travel, Princess Cruises and MSC Cruises have announced extending the pause in cruise operations.

For Princess Cruises the following voyages will be impacted:

  • All cruises sailing in and out of Australia through mid-September on Sea Princess, Majestic Princess, Sun Princess and Sapphire Princess
  • All cruises in and out of Vancouver and Seattle in September and October on Coral Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess and Star Princess
  • Pacific and California Coast 7-day roundtrip cruises from San Francisco departing in September and October 2020 on Star Princess
  • All roundtrip cruises from Keelung, Taiwan, departing August 2020 on Majestic Princess

Guests currently booked on these canceled voyages, who have paid Princess in full, will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 percent of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25 percent of the cruise fare (not applicable on charter voyages).

For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC is non-refundable, will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise and will have a minimum value of $100 pp.

For Sea Princess, Sun Princess, and Sapphire Princess May and June sailings a different offer was provided.

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In order to receive the above FCC no action is required.

Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by June 30, 2020, or guest will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.

The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Information on Impacted & Cancelled Cruises at princess.com/plan/impacted-and-cancelled-cruises.

extending pause
MSC Cruises sailings have extended their halt. (Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises.)

Today MSC Cruises announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operations through July 31, 2020. MSC Cruises USA guests impacted by the July 11-July 31, 2020 canceled cruises will automatically receive a 125 percent Future Cruise Credit of the original cruise fare paid by June 19 to be used on a sailing on or before December 31, 2021.

In addition, for all guests currently booked with MSC Cruises USA between Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, 2020, their bookings will now be eligible for Cruise Assurance, due to a new extension of the program, which will allow them to cancel their sailing up to 48 hours prior to departure and reschedule their cruise with a 100 percent Future Cruise Credit good for any ship and any itinerary on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

Today, the Swiss-based cruise line also reconfirmed its March – November 2021 program, which will include two new ships currently under construction and a series of new or enriched itineraries and homeports, including a new home for MSC Divina in Central Florida.

Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises says in a press statement, “While today we have taken the difficult decision to further extend the halt of operations of all our ships, it is important that we also look ahead as we know that our customers are dreaming of travel and are wanting to plan their holidays for next year. For this reason, we have now also confirmed our March – November program for 2021.”

“Shorter-term,” added Onorato, “Our ships will return to service only when the time is right, in phases and by region, and following guidance from the relevant national and international health and other regulatory authorities and the support of a new operating protocol especially focused on health and safety, which we will announce soon. This way, gradually, all of our ships will return to sea between then and the beginning of our summer 2021 season.”

Below are key highlights of MSC Cruises Spring-Summer-Fall 2021 program, which features all 17 vessels currently part of the Company’s fleet as well as the two new ships currently still under construction, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore, for a total of 19. For those looking for personalized service and more private facilities, the MSC Yacht Club is available on Fantasia, Meraviglia and Seaside class ships.

Itineraries to the Caribbean and The Bahamas
MSC Meraviglia will offer 7-night cruises from Miami, Florida departing every Saturday, while the classic and charming MSC Armonia will offer new 3- and 4-night getaway cruises, also from Miami, departing on Mondays and Fridays and calling at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

New for next summer, the elegant MSC Divina will sail for the first time from Port Canaveral, Florida—a new homeport for MSC Cruises—and offer a mix of 3-, 4- and 7-night cruises departing on Sundays and Thursdays. With this new easily accessible homeport, MSC Cruises’ guests will now have the option of exploring the Orlando area pre- or post-cruise and extending their vacation experience.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will remain a key highlight of cruises in the Caribbean, with all three ships calling at the private island destination in The Bahamas. Exclusive to MSC Cruises’ guests, the private island—located just 65 miles from Miami—is surrounded by 64 square miles of marine reserve, offering guests a unique opportunity to discover local marine life, soak up the spirit of Bahamian culture and reconnect with themselves and each other.

Guests can spend a full day enjoying two miles of pristine beachfront across eight world class beaches with a wide selection of ocean discovery activities like deep-sea fishing, snorkeling adventures, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. In the evening, the island comes alive with a spectacular lighthouse show, an authentic, high-energy Junkanoo parade and dancing under the stars with live music from Bahamian artists and DJs.

*Note, with the new 2021 Caribbean deployment, MSC Cruises has also canceled some previous existing itineraries. Please see here for details.

Iconic Seaside Class Ships Set to be Sun-Kissed Stars of the Western Mediterranean

MSC Cruises’ three innovative, award-winning Seaside-class ships, designed to bring guests closer to the sea, will all be deployed together for the first time in the Western Mediterranean for Summer 2021. These ships—MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview and MSC Seashore—have been designed for the warmer weather with more generous outdoor space and are the perfect ships for guests who want to enjoy the sunshine and stunning ocean views in this popular cruise region.

MSC Seashore will now come into service Aug. 1, 2021 due to the delay caused by the temporary closure of the shipyard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for this period, MSC Fantasia will temporarily cover her itinerary (with guests receiving a shipboard credit for this change). MSC Seashore will have the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet and will offer the popular ‘Six Pearls’ itinerary calling the Italian cities of Genoa and, visits to Pompeii, Naples; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

She will be joined by sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview in their Genoa homeport and operate ever-popular 7-night cruises that sail the world’s most glamorous sea. The Company will also return to Tunisia in August when MSC Fantasia performs 7-night cruises from Genoa calling at Marseille, Barcelona, the port of La Goulette in Tunis, Palermo and Civitavecchia.

Nine to 12-night cruises will also be available from Genoa, Italy in late summer to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Portugal, Greece and Israel with MSC Poesia calling in the beautiful port of Haifa.

Eastern Mediterranean Itineraries
New for summer 2021, MSC Lirica will be deployed from Venice, Italy and will also offer embarkation in the northern Italian port of Trieste with a stunning itinerary calling Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro and Corfu in Greece.

In addition, MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia, will offer 7-night itineraries also departing from Venice and calling the Greek islands, Montenegro and Croatia.

Inspirational Itineraries in Northern Europe
From May 8 the brand new state-of-the-art MSC Virtuosa will spend her first summer season with 7- to 14-night cruises from the German port of Kiel, alternating between the fjords and the Baltic capitals, with all itineraries offering embarkation in both Kiel and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The famous fjords of the Norwegian west coast and the Baltic Capitals can also be enjoyed on a 7-night to 14-night (back-to-back) itinerary available on MSC Splendida and she will also offer longer 10- and 11-night cruises to the Baltic capitals or North Cape.

MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton, UK and offer 7-night itineraries to the magical fjords of Norway, 14-nights to the Baltic capitals or the Mediterranean in mid-August, 12-nights to the Canary Islands and a 7-night cruise calling the “Northern Pearls” of Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Zeebrugge, Belgium and Le Havre, France.

MSC Preziosa will offer from 9- to 14-night itineraries from Hamburg with destinations in Ireland, Iceland and North Cape and Spitzbergen in Norway.

For more information, visit msccruises.com.