Princess Cruises on Friday announced that it will not return to operations until after March 31, 2021, extending its voluntary COVID-19 shutdown a little longer. Princess also on Friday announced that it was trimming its schedule of sailings through November 2021, cancelling all sailings of seven-days or longer through that date.
Both moves were made to help Princess meet the guidelines and protocols laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) conditional sailing order, including rules for testing, quarantines, social distancing, and more.
“We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service,” Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said in a statement announcing the news.
Princess is offering all impacted guests the option to get a full refund or a 125% future cruise credit (FCC). Princess also recognized advisors in the release.
"Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success," it said.
The news follows an announcement from Carnival Cruise Lines this week that it would also be pushing back its restart date—Carnival cancelled all embarkations from U.S. homeports through Jan. 31; all sailings out of Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile, New Orleans, and San Diego through Feb. 28; and all Carnival Legend sailings out of Tampa through March 26.
Carnival also had the same reasoning for its delay, saying that it needed more time to work towards meeting CDC requirements for cruising’s resumption.