Published on : Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Holland America Line recently announced that it has decided to extend its pause of global cruise operations. It is also planning to cancel all sailings scheduled to depart through June 30. The decision arrives in light of the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise across the globe.
The latest cancellation policy will include all Alaska, Canada or New England and Europe cruises. The company is also undertaking continuous port closures including Canada’s cruise ship suspension until July 1. The move is being carried out due to various travel restrictions resulting from global health concerns amid the pandemic.
Holland America Line also took it upon itself to cancel all Alaska sailings for summer 2020 on Maasdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Volendam, and Westerdam. The cancellation would also include all land and sea journeys. The cruise line is assessing the future impact of the order by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for cruises through mid-July.
Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line said in a press statement that the decisions are being taken at an unprecedented time. He mentioned that this is the first time the cruise lines are delaying summer cruising and canceling land tours for the entire season in its 70 years of sailing guests to Alaska. He shared that though the decision is disappointing, it is also a responsible thing to do.
He further added that the company is aware that the action affects its loyal guests, travel advisor partners, staff members and local businesses that rely on summer tourism for their economies. He also mentions that the decision was inevitable and the company is looking forward to better days so that they can return to a full summer cruising season next year.
Guests with impacted cruises can either defer a refund and receive a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the base cruise fare paid plus an onboard credit of US$250 per person or they can avail a 100% refund of all amount paid to Holland America Line and ask for a reimbursement. Guests have to make their decision and select their desired option by June 1.
The former would allow them to apply the credit toward any future cruise(s) through Dec. 31, 2021. In addition, passengers who have not paid in full will also be eligible to receive a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the amount paid to Holland America Line. Meanwhile, the latter would include all monies related to Holland America Line’s Flight Ease air, Cancellation Protection Plan, Holland America Line pre- or post-cruise hotel packages or transfers, prepaid shore excursions and amenities purchased through Holland America Line, and taxes, fees, and port expenses.
Holland America will also protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for canceled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when guests rebook their sailings.