Ultra-luxury cruise operator Seabourn Cruise Line is the next to take the step to cancel its summer season in Alaska. The move comes as sister brands Holland America Line and Princess Cruises announced they would be taking similar measures.
Seabourn Takes The Practical Approach
Although the cruise line remains positive for an eventual re-start of cruises and international travel, it says it is taking a practical approach for the time being and will cancel 19 voyages that would have included ports in Canada.
The message is, of course, due to an announcement from the Canadian Transport Ministry that it would not allow any cruise ship travel of ships over 100 passengers until February 2022.
Seabourn Odyssey is mainly affected as she was scheduled to have 18 voyages leaving from Vancouver to Canada and Juneau, Alaska. It also includes a Pacific Coast voyage that would have sailed from Vancouver to Seattle, where its head office is; San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.
Voyages onboard Seabourn Quest which were scheduled to sail to Canada and New England in the fall of 2021 with a series of four 11-day and 12-day cruises between Montreal and Boston, followed by a 12-day voyage down the east coast from Montreal to Miami, have previously been canceled in November last year.
Seeing Positive Developments
Despite the disappointing news regarding canceled voyages to ports in Canada, Seabourn’s President Josh Leibowitz sees positive developments in the international travel sector, which makes for hopeful news to a resumption:
“Our highest priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations we visit. We have heard from many guests and they are eager to travel, seeing positive developments starting to take hold that will eventually lead to our return to service.”
While many cruise lines are badly affected by the US cruise ban, Seabourn Cruise Line only has one ship scheduled to call to US ports. The other five vessels have worldwide itineraries, which cause other problems to arise.
The luxury cruise operator will need to wait until international travel is virtually 100% operational as many of its voyages start and end in different countries. For that reason, the cruise line ceased operations already early last year, at the start of the pandemic.
Seabourn Cruise Line will be automatically canceling and re-booking cruises from guests who had paid for their cruises in full. However, if guests are not happy with a re-booking, they are also eligible for a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn.
Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.
Just a Matter of Time
It was just a matter of time before these cruise cancelations started coming in. The Canadian government’s announcement was clear, and it seems unlikely they will be changing their mind anytime soon.
The hope now lies with the US government potentially amending the passenger vessel services act of 1886. Several US politicians have been advocating for changes to be made; those politicians include US Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska. Whether that happens or not, it seems it will be too late for Seabourn.
The current timeline for the Seabourn Ships to resume sailings looks as follows; however, keep in mind that this information could very well change as the situations remain fluid:
- Date: May 29, 2021
- Cruise: 7-Day Greek Isles & Maltese Magic
- Date: November 6, 2021
- Cruise: 7-Day Caribbean Spice Islands
- Date: May 24, 2021
- Cruise: 14-Day Northern European
- Date: May 24, 2021
- Cruise:12-Day Spanish & Moroccan Spring
- Date: May 1, 2021
- Cruise: 7-Day Greece & Dalmatian Delights
- Date: December 11, 2021
- Cruise:12-Day Inaugural Norway, Northern Lights & North Cape (maiden voyage)