Guests booked on the January 29, 2022, sailing onboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam received disappointing news this week as their voyage has been canceled. Cruise Line president Gus Antorcha sent out a letter to affected guests, informing them of the cancellation.
Cruise Cancelled Due to Outside Influences
While many cruises have been canceled or altered recently because of Omicron, the January sailing onboard Nieuw Amsterdam seems to be canceled for other reasons. Cruise line president Gus Antorcha explains this in a letter to guests:
“Our charter partners moved two back-to-back charter cruises to later dates, and given the operational implications of that change, we have made the difficult decision to cancel your sailing. Please accept our most sincere apologies. We know you have been looking forward to this cruise.”
The cruises that have been canceled would have sailed from Fort Lauderdale. The first cruise would have called in Bimini, Falmouth Jamaica, George Town, Grand Cayman, and Half Moon Cay, before returning to Fort Lauderdale. The second voyage, on February 5, which has also been canceled, would have called into Grand Turk, San Juan, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, and another stop at Half Moon Cay.
HAL Provides Alternatives For Affected Guests
The Nieuw Amsterdam will sail one voyage on January 23 and return to service on February 12 for a full charter cruise. Then on February 19, the vessel will be sailing on regular cruises once again.
Guests booked on one of the canceled voyages have the opportunity to rebook or get a full refund. “We are offering the opportunity to transfer to a comparable 6- or 7-day Caribbean voyage sailing on Nieuw Amsterdam or Rotterdam.”
The available replacement voyages that the cruise line is offering guests include sailings onboard the Nieuw Amsterdam and the company’s newest vessel, the Rotterdam. This includes the January 23 voyage, as well as several others.
Should guests choose to change their cruise to a comparable 6- or 7-day cruise, the booking will transfer to the selected replacement voyage at the current fare and in the same or equivalent stateroom category.
If guests decide to book a 6-day cruise, they will receive a refund for the one day they have missed. Each guest will also receive $100 as a refundable credit applied to their shipboard account on their replacement voyage.
Guests who do not wish to transfer their cruise to an earlier or later cruise can avail of a full refund of all monies paid to Holland America, including flights for guests who booked this through the cruise line. If the voyage was booked using an FCC (future cruise credit), that credit would be applied to the guest’s account and can be used to book a subsequent cruise.
Cruise Lines Flexible On Bookings
The cancellation of the Nieuw Amsterdam cruise comes at a time when multiple cruise lines have been forced to cancel or adjust cruises due to the spread of Omicron and operational changes that has brought. This week Holland America announced it would be extending its flexible cancellation policy to September 30, 2022
“We want our guests to feel confident when they book a cruise,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We’ve seen so much excitement from guests who have cruised with us since our return. We want everyone who is looking forward to that next adventure to feel comfortable making those plans, and our ‘Worry-Free Promise’ offers that comfort.”
In addition to the flexible cancellation policy, Holland America Line also changed their final payment dates for new bookings. These are now due 60 days before the voyage, instead of the standard 75, or even 90 days prior, giving guests more time to reconsider their vacation plans as necessary.