COVID-19: UAE, India and Seychelles close ports to cruise ship
UAE, India and the Seychelles have closed their ports to cruise ships due to the COVID-19 outbreak.Marco Cristofoli, ceo of Cruises International, told eTNW that due to these closures and the temporary closing of all Italian ports, Crystal Serenity’s Mumbai to Rome sailing and its corresponding Getaway voyages have been cancelled.
“Fully paid guests will receive a 100% refund of the cruise fare paid, port charges, taxes, and fees and as a gesture of goodwill, guests will also receive a Future Cruise Credit of 25% of the cruise fare paid,” he said.
Celebrity Constellation’s sailing has ended early. Marco said guests would receive a 100% cruise refund as compensation for disruption to their travel plans, and guests with shore excursions in Goa, Cochin, Abu Dhabi, or Dubai booked through Celebrity Cruises, would automatically receive a refund to their onboard account.
“Celebrity Cruises will also assist all guests with air travel arrangements for their return home.”
Celebrity Constellation’s March 17 and April 2 sailings have also been cancelled. All guests will receive a full refund to their original method of payment and a 25% Future Cruise Credit.
Marco appealed to travel agents to avoid panic. “Cruises International together with the brands we represent are here to ensure that you have our full support during this challenging time. If you want to know more about the flexible cancellation clauses that our brands have in place, give the team a call.”
Roland Muller, marketing manager of Development Promotions, told eTNW the changes happened at the last minute, so normal procedures would apply where itineraries were updated. He said most cruise lines had put updated cancellation policies in place, which allowed passengers to cancel their cruise for whatever reason within a short lead time, and then receive a credit for a future cruise.
Ross Volk, md of MSC Cruises, told eTNW the closures had affected MSC’s Bellissima and Lirica