Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has extended its suspension of global cruise voyages through 31MAY, 2021, setting the stage for other cruise lines to follow suit, Cruise Week reports.
The suspension affects Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
“The refund process, additional compensation, and commission policy for this current suspension will mirror what we did for the previous suspension,” the company said in a note to travel advisors.
One agent told Cruise Week: “What really strikes me that it hits so many areas. May is the month when all the new markets open up.”
Another industry veteran observed: “There’s this false optimism — we just don’t believe it’s going to be pushed out and yet it keeps pushing out. So we’re waiting for this to happen, and yet the fact that when it happens we all express some consternation about it is surprising. It shows people at a certain level keep thinking that it’s going to get better and it doesn’t.”
A third agent told Cruise Week that in the grand scheme of things, “this is not an unexpected development and certainly not the emotional hit we took when Canada extended its ban until February of 2022.”
Losing Alaska was a big blow to all stakeholders in the cruise business, which may be why no one expressed shock that Europe and Alaska are a no-go in May for NCL, Cruise Week notes.
Still, there were travel advisors who admit they were clinging to hope of several markets actually materializing in May — not just short Bahamas/Caribbean, but also Bermuda for Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Gem.