Sea Cloud Cruises canceled its winter Caribbean program and plans to resume sailing with all three ships, including the new Sea Cloud Spirit, in Europe in the spring.
‘In view of the current development of the COVID-19 pandemic, this necessary step is the only way to give our guests and all our sales partners the peace of mind when planning for future travel,’ Managing Director Daniel Schäfer said.
Limited port availability
Besides all Caribbean cruises, itineraries with Central America and the two trans-Atlantic crossings are canceled.
Sea Cloud noted the past months have shown that immigration regulations can change bilaterally on very short notice due to changes in infection rates. ‘Since infection rates are continuing to rise worldwide, almost all the islands in the Caribbean still do not allow ships to enter their territory,’ Schäfer said.
Uncertainties also remain about flight options to the Caribbean, as well as the classification of most of the islands in the region as risk areas by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute. The United States has still not given cruising the green light.
Passengers may transfer their deposits to voyages in the coming year or in 2022 and will get an on-board beverage credit. Or they may request a refund.
Sea Cloud Cruises is now concentrating on the Mediterranean and Canary Islands itineraries that are scheduled in the current 2021 brochure, starting in the spring. In case the situation hasn’t changed then, the Hamburg-based company is also preparing an alternative timetable that will take into account the current EU requirements for ocean voyages, for example, with departures and arrivals in the same port.
In addition, should COVID-19 still give cause for concern in 2021, new or rebooked voyages can be canceled up to six weeks prior to departure for a full refund, minus a small processing fee (for US customers, for example, $25 per person).