Carnival Corp. Sells Two More Cruise Ships

Carnival Corporation’s Princess Cruises has announced the sale of two of its ships, Sun Princess and Sea Princess, to undisclosed buyers.

The sale of these vessels is in line with parent company Carnival Corporation’s plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet.

“Sun Princess and Sea Princess contributed to significant growth in Australian cruising,” said Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz. “Both ships defined the premium cruise experience with Australians and New Zealanders spending close to 14 million nights aboard these ships. While it is never easy to say goodbye to any ship in our fleet, this will allow us to deploy newer ships enhancing our offerings for Australia cruisers and focus on bringing into service exciting newbuilds like the upcoming delivery of Enchanted Princess.”

The first ship in the Sun Class, Sun Princess was introduced in 1995 debuting in the Caribbean and was among the largest ships in the world at the time.

The 2,000-guest Sun Princess also sailed in Alaska and Panama Canal, among other destinations, before being homeported in Australia in October 2007.

“The Sun Princess also helped us open the Japanese market in 2013 as the first foreign-flagged cruise ship to offer cruises designed specifically for the Japanese,” the company said, in a statement.

The 2,000-guest Sea Princess meanwhile became synonymous with World Cruises, having completed six full world cruises since 2013. Prior to joining the Sun Princess in Australia, the Sea Princess sailed in Europe and Alaska as well as the Caribbean, including serving as a homeport ship in Barbados in the mid- to late-2000s.

Due to the imminent departure of these two ships from the fleet, Princess Cruises will cancel published itineraries which include:

• Sun Princess sailings from December 28, 2020, through August 14, 2021
• Sea Princess sailings from December 23, 2020, through November 9, 2021

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

 

Holland America Line extends cruise cancellations until December

ms Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line, cruise, cruising, offer, promotion

Holland America Line has become the latest cruise line to extend its pause of cruise operations, cancelling departures on all ships in its fleet until 15 December 2020.

The extended pause affects the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, Pacific Coastal, South America, Antarctica, Hawaii, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries.

The line said the pause was due to “the continuation of travel and port restrictions due to global health concerns”.

Those guests with impacted cruises automatically will be cancelled, and no action is needed for guests opting for the future cruise credit (FCC).

Guests who paid in full will receive 125 per cent FCC of the base cruise fare, while those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through 31 December 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Guests who prefer a 100 per cent refund can visit the cruise line’s Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than 15 September 2020.

Holland America Line has said that it will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the FCC when rebooked.

Holland America Line previously paused global cruise operations and cancelled all Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England cruises for 2020; additional departures from the port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 2020; and select Hawaii itineraries for early 2021.

This week, both P&O Cruises and Seabourn announced that they too would be extending their cruise cancellations due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Two Holland America Cruise Ships Dock in Florida

Cruise ships Zaandam (R) and Rotterdam of the Holland America Line, carrying patients affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrive at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. April 2, 2020. REUTER/Joe Skipper

MIAMI, April 2 (Reuters) – An ocean liner forced by a deadly onboard coronavirus outbreak to languish at sea since mid-March pulled into a South Florida port on Thursday, after authorities settled plans for the vessel and its sister ship to dock and most passengers to come ashore.

The Holland America Line cruise ship MS Zaandam and its twin, the MS Rotterdam, docked late in the afternoon at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where medical personnel immediately began off-loading 13 severely ill passengers and one crew member for transport to area hospitals.

The arrival of the ships capped a nearly three-week ordeal during which about 100 passengers and dozens of crew aboard the Zaandam reported influenza-like illness and four passengers died as numerous Latin-American ports along its route refused the vessel’s entry.

Nearly two-thirds of the Zaandam’s original passengers – those who cleared a medical screening – were transferred to the Rotterdam before the ships were granted passage through the Panama Canal on Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump intervened on Tuesday to urge Florida officials to accept the stricken cruise ship after Governor Ron DeSantis, a fellow Republican, had declared the Zaandam unwelcome, saying he did not want its sick passengers “dumped” in his state.

The governor relented once a “unified command” consisting of federal, state and local authorities reached agreement days later on a plan for repatriating the Zaandam, which departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 for what was to have been a 20-day voyage to Chile. A second leg of the cruise had been due to end in Fort Lauderdale on April 7.

The Broward County Commission gave final approval to the plan, which is to be paid for by the cruise line, early Thursday.

‘CONTROLLED EXIT’

“These two ships have U.S. citizens on board. I think the Zaandam has 40, 50 Floridians, so I think we have an interest in making sure these folks come safely,” DeSantis told a news conference on Thursday before the vessels arrived.

He said the arrival plan provides for a “controlled exit.”

At least 26 passengers known to still be symptomatic but not requiring hospitalization will remain aboard the ships in port until they are well and declared fit for travel under federal health guidelines, according to details of the agreement.

Holland America said its medical staff would care for them.

Most of the remaining 1,200 some passengers, assuming they pass a medical screening, were expected to begin disembarking on Friday and be transferred straight to chartered flights home.

“Out of an abundance of caution, these guests will be transported in coaches that will be sanitized, with limited person-to-person contact and while wearing masks,” the cruise line said.

Until Thursday, none of the Zaandam’s passengers had been off the ship since March 14, with all confined to their cabins for the past 10 days, according to the company.

Holland America said 311 passengers are U.S. citizens, 52 of the residents of Florida. Those living near the port will drive home, the cruise line said.

None of the 1,180-plus crew members from the two ships will be allowed off in Fort Lauderdale, though it was not clear when the vessels will leave and how their personnel will be repatriated.

Initial objections to the Zaandam’s arrival had drawn a rebuke from Dr Anthony Fauci, one of Trump’s chief advisers on the pandemic, who urged Florida welcome the ships to port.

“You have to take care of the people who are ill. You just have an obligation to do that. And as quickly as possible. You’ve got to get the people who are not sick, who are not infected, off the ship,” Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS “This Morning” just before the deal was reported.

Keith Kobler, a passenger along with his wife, Doris, told NBC they were aware the country had undergone a major shift over the past month as the coronavirus spread nationwide.

“It’s probably going to be strange for us,” he said. (Reporting by Susan Heavey and Doina Chiacu in Washington and Maria Caspani in New York; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Jonathan Oatis, Nick Macfie and Simon Cameron-Moore)