COVID-19 UPDATE: Celebrity, GBTA, Crystal And More 

The Celebrity Cruises team is bringing Canadian agents a great message to start the week with in this video of motivational speaker, Dr. Rick Rigsby.

He knows Celebrity’s passion for its agency partners and he’ll give you goosebumps with his presentation.

So top up your coffee and enjoy, Dr. Rigsby, courtesy of your friends at Celebrity Cruises.

GBTA COO Has A Message For Members

These are difficult days for the travel and tourism industry and business travel has certainly been hit hard.

Last week, the Global Business Travel Association made it abundantly clear, with the release of new tracking research, that business travel had come to a halt.

The association’s chief operating officer & executive director, Scott Solombrino talks to members in this video, offering the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the industry.

Check it out by going to

Crystal Postpones Crystal Endeavor Launch

Crystal Expedition Cruises has postponed the launch of its expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor. The move follows the temporary closure of the MV WERFTEN shipyards, which halted operations in ship production to protect its employees during the COVID-19 global pandemic like most European manufacturing companies.

Due to uncertainty regarding when production will resume, Crystal has been compelled to delay the introduction of the ship – previously planned for this coming August – and cancel all scheduled itineraries through Oct. 31, 2020.

The ship’s maiden voyage will now be the Tasmania & Fjords of New Zealand 14-night cruise embarking on Nov. 14, 2020.

Crystal’s president and CEO, Tom Wolber said: “We know that, like us, our guests have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explore anew with Crystal aboard this groundbreaking ship, and we deeply regret that this change has become necessary and has disrupted our guests’ travel plans,” “While this unprecedented global health crisis inhibits our journeys for now, we are looking ahead with great optimism to introducing Crystal Endeavor to the world on November 14 and welcoming travelers to their next great adventure.”    

The company is reaching out to guests and their travel advisors directly with rebooking options.

Go to for more.

Costa Extends Suspension To May 30

Costa Cruises has extended the suspension of its cruise operations until May 30, 2020.

Due to the continuation of the emergency situation linked to the global pandemic of Covid-19 and with the continuation of containment measures such as closing ports and restrictions on the movement of people that do not actually allow the company to operate, Costa Cruises is extending the suspension through May.

Costa is taking steps to advise both travel agents and guests affected by the changes of their re-protection options.

Celestyal Extends Suspension To End Of June

Celestyal Cruises, which has sailings to the Greek Islands and in the Mediterranean, has extended the suspension of its sailings until June 29. Currently, cruises will resume on this date with the four-night “Iconic Aegean” sailing roundtrip from Athens.

Leslie Peden, chief commercial officer for Celestyal Cruises, said “we understand the inconvenience this will cause and apologize to our valued guests. However, as I’m sure they will understand, we have taken these necessary steps for the well-being of both our guests and our crew. During these challenging times, Celestyal Cruises will do all it can to support its guests, employees and partners, and we are confident of their mutual support.  When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming guests back onboard.”

For all named and fully paid individual guests impacted by this temporary suspension, Celestyal Cruises is offering a future cruise credit valued at 120% of the original booking value.

Guests will have until the end of December 2021 to redeem their future cruise credit against any of Celestyal Cruises’ itineraries in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

For additional flexibility, guests that have not used their future cruise credit within the specified period, will automatically receive a refund equal to the original amount paid to Celestyal upon expiration of the future cruise credit voucher in December 2021, therefore allowing time to decide on rescheduling plans.

To reduce the inconvenience as much as possible, Celestyal will automatically send the future cruise credit voucher directly to guests or their travel professional, so there will be no need to call Celestyal’s Contact Center.

To provide additional comfort to both new and existing guests due to travel during the remainder of 2020, Celestyal has also extended it’s “Peace of Mind Policy” for sailings departing through December 31, 2020.

Guests can feel confident knowing they can change their sail date up to seven days before departure for sailings embarking between June 29 and Aug. 31, 2020.

For departures between Sept. 1 and  Dec. 31, 2020, guests will be able to change their plans up to 30 days prior to the sailing date, having until Dec. 31, 2022 to reschedule.

Go to for more.

No Jumping Up This Summer

One of Toronto’s biggest summer festival, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival – has been cancelled for the first time in 52 years in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Held in July and August, the annual Festival includes such events as the Festival Launch, Junior King and Queen Show, Junior Parade, Adult King and Queen Show, Pan Alive, and Grand Parade.

In a statement, organizers said: “In consultation with our stakeholders, which includes the Bandleaders, Ontario Steelpan Association,(OSA)  Organization of Calypso Performing Artists, (OCPA) as well as our partners  and other related cultural organizations, and taking into consideration the Mass Crowds that attend the Events present a tremendous risk regarding the spread of the virus. It is therefore unanimous that the priority must be the health and safety of our patrons and having weighed all these considerations, there is no choice but to cancel this year’s festival.” 

It noted that: “It is our responsibility to the City and our patrons to encourage social distancing, hand washing, and self-isolation to support the efforts of our first responders and essential workers who are at the frontline of the COVID-19 containment.”

And the statement continued: “For the past fifty-two (52) years, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana) has delivered an exciting summer festival featuring elaborate costumes, Caribbean music, and food in our Grand Parade. This festival is a labor of love, created by our extraordinary talented artistic stakeholders, and supported by participants, and volunteers, who begin preparation for the spectacular King and Queen Show and the Grand Parade six-months in advance of the scheduled events.”

The statement also noted that should the circumstances change, and permit restrictions lifted by July 1, 2020, we will seek to celebrate together in a non-traditional format the weekend of August 1, 2020.

Go to for more.


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Posted in COVID-19, Cruise, Events, News, Tourism Organizations