ATHENS — Celestyal Cruises has made the “difficult but prudent” decision to suspend all sailings until the start of the 2021 season due to ongoing concerns over travel to Europe.
The 2021 season will commence on March 6, 2021 as planned. Celestyal had previously extended the suspension of all sailings until July 30, 2020.
Leslie Peden, chief commercial officer, says she was optimistic about resuming cruise operations this summer.
“However, given the prevailing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions through the balance of our operating season from our largest international source markets couple with the continuing discussions at the European Union level regarding the enhanced health protocols that will apply to EU cruise operations, we made the difficult but prudent decision to postpone resuming cruise operations until the scheduled start of our normal spring season next year,” says Peden.
Peden adds that the company felt it had put its travel partners and guests through “enough date changes” on when cruising could return safely, and by voluntarily pausing operations until its scheduled departures in 2021, Celestyal will be better positioned to offer more clarity and peace of mind.
“We will now shift our full attention to developing both 2021 and 2022 business where we are already seeing encouraging signs of pent-up demand and be well prepared to implement all enhanced health protocols that will ultimately be established by the EU and the countries where we operate,” she says. “While we appreciate and share in the disappointment this decision has on our guests, their wellbeing as well as that of our loyal crew and the local communities we visit is always our top priority.”
For all named and paid individual guests impacted by this suspension, Celestyal Cruises is offering a future cruise credit (FCC) valued at 120% of original booking value. Guests will have until the end of December 2021 to redeem their FCC against any of Celestyal’s itineraries through end of December 2022.
Should guests choose not to redeem their FCC by end of December 2021, they will automatically receive a full refund equal to the original amount paid to Celestyal upon the voucher’s expiration.
Celestyal will automatically send the FCC voucher directly to guests or their travel advisors; there will be no need to call the Contact Center other than to rebook.
Celestyal recently launched its 2021 and 2022 digital brochure with its ‘Peace of Mind’ policy that allows newly booked guests to change any cruise that sails through Dec. 31, 2021. This applies to new bookings made until Aug. 31, 2020. As long as the booking is changed at least 30 days before the sail date, an FCC for 100% of the value received by Celestyal will be issued. The credit can be used toward any cruise that sets sail through Dec. 31, 2022.
For more updates from other cruise lines go to https://www.travelweek.ca/news/when-will-cruise-lines-return-to-service-here-are-all-the-latest-updates/.