Transat is advising that due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, we must extend the suspension of our flights until June 30, 2020.
The carrier says that the decision was a difficult one and is the result of the travel restrictions still in place, as well as the continued uncertainty about when the borders will reopen, both in Canada and at the destinations to which we fly.
In this context, Transat says that it must accept that a resumption of flight operations prior to this date is not feasible.
And the company states that: “Given this situation beyond our control, we’re sorry that the travel plans of some of your clients cannot come to fruition. Since they have a trip planned with Air Transat in June, they will receive a credit for the value of the amount received on file, which can be used within 24 months of their original return date.”
It notes that: “This credit will automatically be applied to their file, so you don’t need to contact us to request it. The file may be processed in several steps: for instance, one passenger at a time, or your seat selection (if applicable) in a second step. But rest assured that the full amount of your booking will be credited.”
For more details, we invite you to consult the frequently asked questions at http://flyers.transatholidays.com/Agent%20Direct/TR-Policies-flights-cancelled-Q&A-Ontario-2.pdf .
And the statement continues: “The current situation, which is hitting the tourism industry hard, is forcing us to take these exceptional measures. However, we remain committed to resuming our operations as soon as possible, while respecting the necessary health measures to ensure the safety of our passengers, which remains our top priority. We thank you for your loyalty and look forward to seeing travellers on board.”
Princess Extends Its Pause
Citing reduced air flight availability, the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world and other factors impacting international travel, Princess Cruises says it is extending its pause of global ship operations and making the “extremely difficult” decision to cancel select cruises through the end of the 2020 summer season, including the following cruises and associated cruisetours:
- All remaining Alaska cruises on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess
- All remaining Europe and Transatlantic cruises on Enchanted Princess, Regal Princess, Sky Princess, Crown Princess and Island Princess
- Summer Caribbean cruises and all Canada & New England cruises on Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess
- Summer to Fall cruises departing from Japan on Diamond Princess
- Australia-based cruises on Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess through August
- July cruises sailing from Taiwan on Majestic Princess
- Fall cruises sailing to Hawaii and French Polynesia on Pacific Princess through November.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said: “As the world is still preparing to resume travel, it is with much disappointment that we announce an extension of our pause of global ship operations and the cancellation of cruise vacations for our loyal guests.”
Swartz continued: “Among other disruptions, airlines have limited their flight availability and many popular cruise ports are closed. It saddens us to think about the impact on the livelihood of our teammates, business partners and the communities we visit.”
Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages, who have paid Princess in full, will have the option to receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.
For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.
In order to receive the above FCC no action is required.
Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through the online form at https://princess.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bKHMO3kF1HsNhVX .
Requests must be received by June 15, 2020, or they will receive the refundable Future Cruise Credit option.
Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.
The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Information on Impacted & Cancelled Cruises, located here: https://www.princess.com/plan/impacted-and-cancelled-cruises/ .
Holland America Extends Its Pause
With travel restrictions continuing for the near future due to global health concerns, Holland America Line has decided to extend its pause of global cruise operations and cancel all Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England cruises for 2020.
In addition, Amsterdam will not operate the 79-day Grand Africa Voyage from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that was scheduled to depart on Oct. 3, 2020. Holland America Line had previously cancelled all 2020 Land+Sea Journeys, which combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon.
“As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented and challenging times, the best decision right now is to extend our pause in cruise operations into the fall,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “While this is very disappointing and we never want to let our guests down, as soon as it makes sense we will be back cruising again, giving our guests the memorable travel experiences they continue to dream about.”
All guests, or their travel advisors, will automatically be notified if their cruise departure has been cancelled.
Those with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled, and all guests will receive a Future Cruise Credit per person as follows:
Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.
Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive a Future Cruise Credit of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum Future Cruise Credit is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.
The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 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% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than June 15, 2020. This includes Holland America Line’s Flight Ease air, Cancellation Protection Plan, Holland America Line pre- or post-cruise hotel packages or transfers, prepaid shore excursions and amenities purchased through Holland America Line, and taxes, fees and port expenses.
Due to the unprecedented volume of bookings impacted by cancellations, Holland America Line asks for guests’ patience and understanding regarding the time needed to work through processing refunds and FCCs.
The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions at the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.
Recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry, Holland America Line will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when their clients rebook.
Holland America Line will continue to monitor the global health situation and evaluate the best time to begin sailing again. Additional details will be shared as they are available.
NCLH Secures Added Liquidity
After warning shareholders about its future in securities filings in the US, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd reports that it has successfully secured over $2 billion of additional liquidity in response to impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the company and the cruise industry, including the temporary suspension of voyages, and to safeguard against a further downside scenario.
On May 6, it announced the launch of a series of capital markets transactions, led by Goldman Sachs, to raise approximately $2 billion. The transaction has since been upsized to gross proceeds of $2.225 billion ($2.4 billion if the underwriters exercise their full overallotment options) due to significant oversubscription and demand across all three offerings.
The transactions consisted of (1) $400 million public offering of common equity, (2) $750 million exchangeable senior notes offering, (3) $675 million senior secured notes offering and (4) $400 million private investment from global consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton.
Contingent on completion of the transactions, the company said it expects to have approximately $3.5 billion of liquidity.
In making the announcement, it noted that this significantly strengthens the company’s financial position and liquidity runway and it now expects to be positioned to withstand well over 12 months of voyage suspensions in a potential downside scenario.
In a statement, it said that while this is not the company’s base case expectation, the company has taken a swift and proactive approach to protect its future given the significant uncertainty and unknown duration of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
And it adds that when the transactions are completed, the additional liquidity alleviates management’s concern about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern for the next 12 months.
NCLH operates Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. With a combined fleet of 28 ships with approximately 59,150 berths, these brands offer itineraries to more than 490 destinations worldwide. It will introduce nine additional ships through 2027.